Why get tested for COVID? Very simply because testing saves lives. A positive test allows you to avoid contact with others early on when you are most contagious. In addition to reducing the spread of infection, getting tested for COVID allows you to get any treatment you may need sooner rather than later, reducing your risk of severe complications.
When to Consider a COVID Test
You should consider getting tested for a COVID-19 infection when:
- You suspect COVID – if you develop symptoms, such as a fever, cough, fatigue, or difficulty breathing
- You were exposed– if you were in close contact* with someone who tested positive for COVID
- It’s required – COVID tests may be required by schools, workplaces, before/after travel, etc.
- You want peace of mind
*The most effective testing occurs at least five days after possible exposure to the virus
Types of COVID-19 Tests We Offer
At Community Concierge Care (C3 Cares) in Washington, D.C., we offer rapid COVID tests. These tests can detect the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the body, or its biomarkers, and are good indicators of the presence of a current infection. There are two types of viral COVID tests and at C3 Cares. We offer both types of viral tests: rapid tests and lab tests (also known as polymerase chain reaction or “PCR”). We do not currently offer antibody tests, which can identify whether you had a COVID-19 infection in the past.
What to Expect During a COVID Test
At your appointment with C3 Cares, we can conduct the rapid nasal swab test and/or a nasal swab test that we send off to the lab to determine if you currently have a COVID-19 infection.
With the rapid (antigen) test, we will swab both nasal areas and ask you to wait approximately 15 minutes for the results. If you test positive, we will recommend we perform a lab test to confirm the results. Also, the rapid test is less accurate for those who are not experiencing symptoms.
With the lab (PCR) test, we will swab one nasal cavity and send the results to the laboratory we use. You will be emailed/texted a link to get your results within one to three days. The lab PCR test is reliable and the preferred method of confirming a current COVID-19 infection.
Other Methods to Stop the Spread of Infection
In addition to COVID testing and avoiding contact with others when positive, there are other things you can do to slow the spread of COVID in your community. These include:
- Stay at home if you are sick
- Getting a COVID vaccine or booster if you qualify for one
- Wearing a mask when around others, especially wherever groups of people congregate
- Remaining at a safe physical distance from others in heavily populated areas
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
- Wash your hands with soap and water regularly
Mobile COVID Testing in Washington, D.C.,
Community Concierge Care (C3 Cares) provides COVID tests – both rapid tests and PCR tests – by our mobile nursing team, as well our on-site clinics at public housing sites in Washington, D.C.