A person blowing their nose and waiting to get a COVID test.

Cases of COVID-19 and the delta variant are still on the rise. Thanks to rapid COVID tests, healthcare providers can quickly detect the virus and help patients find the fastest means of treatment. This is essential to helping beat the fast-growing surge of positive cases. Are you or a loved one experiencing active symptoms? Find rapid COVID tests in Topeka at The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus Urgent Care!

How Do Rapid COVID Tests Work?

The COVID-19 rapid test is a diagnostic antigen test. These tests utilize nasal swabs to detect high viral loads of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. A sterile swab is inserted into the patient’s nostril and swirled two to three times for maximum absorption. It is then placed into a buffer tube and squeezed to extract any liquid. The healthcare specialist places two to three drops of this liquid in the testing device. After 15 minutes, colored lines appear that both indicate the test is working and whether or not the virus is present in the collected specimen. Since these test for viral infections, both the original COVID-19 virus and the delta variant can be detected. However, this test will not be able to determine which specific variant you are carrying.

When Should I Get Tested?

If you are presenting symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, you should get tested right away. Headache, fever, fatigue, shortness of breath, and most notably a loss of taste or smell are quickly identifiable signs of a possible COVID-19 infection. Common symptoms of the rapidly spreading COVID delta variant include sneezing, sore throat, and runny nose. If you experience these symptoms, make sure to mask, social distance as much as possible, and contact your closest urgent care provider to be tested.

Rapid tests are effective for identifying those with strong infections who are especially contagious. Unfortunately, those with low amounts of the virus in their system may not test positive with a COVID test. If you test negative on a rapid COVID-19 test but are experiencing associated symptoms, it is recommended to follow quarantine guidelines to prevent a possible spread. Your doctor may also prescribe medication to help alleviate any respiratory issues or offer guidance for at-home care. 

What About At-Home Tests?

Store-bought rapid tests can seem like a convenient option for when you’re in a pinch. Emergency COVID test kits give you results within 15 minutes, but know that your results may not be completely accurate. These tests work well for those who are already exhibiting defined COVID symptoms. However, it is not considered an accurate means of testing for those who are asymptomatic. This is why false negatives are not uncommon with at-home tests. For an accurate diagnosis and quick solutions to a COVID diagnosis or infection, visit your closest urgent care!

Get Rapid COVID Tests at Our Urgent Care in Topeka

The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus Urgent Care is your source for rapid COVID tests in Topeka. We have two convenient locations for serving our city. Visit our Brewster location or our clinic on 29th and Gage. No appointment is necessary for your test! Check-in now online, or fill out any necessary information at our clinic. You may also schedule a virtual visit before your test to further help limit the spread. Please don’t forget to come masked to your in-person test. We look forward to helping you find the fastest path to relief and helping beat the surge of COVID-19 and its variants.