PCR testing is done in a certified laboratory with results available the next day. This is the exact same testing process your doctor would order from the lab if you needed, for example, a STREP test. The PCR test process is looking for genetic evidence of the virus in your body, specifically the RNA of the virus. Samples were typically collected through nasal swabs, however, after studies have shown a 100% positive agreement between the two biomaterials, the pain-free and noninvasive self-collection of saliva is fast becoming the preferred biosample for PCR testing.
Whether you get a nasal swab or saliva PCR test, it is likely the results will be more accurate than a rapid antigen test. This is because the test is looking for something different and PCR testing doesn’t need a large volume of a virus’s genetic material present. In fact, testing that incorporates the Spectrum Solutions saliva collection system is able to detect an infection with as few as 200 copies per microliter (A microliter is a unit of volume equal to 1/1,000,000th of a liter (one-millionth) compared to rapid antigen testing which requires 10,000 to 20,000 copies per microliter. In addition, PCR testing is considered to be 100% accurate compared to the 40-60% accuracy of the rapid test.]
Some people have avoided the PCR test because it was less comfortable than the rapid test as the nasal swab often had to go clear to the back of the throat through the nose. But with the availability of saliva PCR “spit testing”, comfort is no longer an issue. So it’s become much easier to use this more accurate test than it used to be with many at-home sample collection options.
Truly, the only downside to PCR testing if you can call it a downside, even saliva PCR testing, is that it takes longer to get results (about 24-hours). With testing processed at a lab, it simply takes more time to transport samples. In most cases, accuracy in testing is preferable to speed. Still, there may be a time when you need a fast test completed and accuracy isn’t as important (possibly in a screening scenario). In this case, a rapid test fits the bill. However, if about 24 hours can fit in your time frame, the PCR test will still be the best option.
Need Home or Work Saliva PCR Testing Kits?
At Spectrum Solutions, we offer a variety of saliva-based DNA testing, and the COVID-19 PCR test is one of the tests we offer. If you need a COVID test done from home, or if you are looking for COVID tests have available at your workplace, Spectrum Solutions can send you these saliva-based PCR COVID-19 tests. These tests will be simple to administer without medical professionals, and the results will be highly accurate. Order these tests today so you and your business are prepared to give COVID-19 tests when needed.