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COVID-19 Antigen Testing

Antigen testing is an easy and convenient way to test for COVID-19 compared to the more popular PCR testing method. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency use authorization (EUA) for antigen tests that can identify SARS-CoV-2. Please use the page to learn more about antigen testing and to find out where you can acquire an antigen test for you and your family.

FAQs

COVID-19 Antigen testing is considered a faster method of detecting for COVID-19. An Antigen test is commonly used in the diagnosis of respiratory pathogens, including influenza viruses and respiratory syncytial virus. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency use authorization (EUA) authorization for antigen tests that can be used to identify SARS-CoV-2 (i.e., COVID-19).

  1. Antigen COVID-19 tests have a quick turnaround time for results at 10-30 minutes and are considered screener tests. If you test positive for COVID-19 using an Antigen test then a confirmatory PCR is recommended. You may also need to retest as Antigen tests are less sensitive and may not detect an early COVID-19 infection and/or may provide a false positive.
  2. PCR COVID-19 tests are considered highly accurate and usually do not need to be repeated; however, the results need to be processed at a lab and can take 1-3 days. They are considered the gold standard of COVID-19 testing and test for the virus currently in your body.
  3. Antibody COVID-19 tests are used to see if your body may have built up antibodies for COVID-19 and does not indicate if the virus is currently active in your system.

For reference, please see: https://www.fda.gov/media/140161/download.

The performance of diagnostic tests largely depends on the circumstances in which they are used. They perform best if the person is tested when ­their viral load is generally highest. Because antigen tests perform best in symptomatic people and within a certain number of days since symptom onset, antigen tests are used frequently on people who are symptomatic. However, they can also be used to assist in screening those who have been exposed to someone who is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19

Yes, it is recommended that you go in to your health care provider to take a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) to confirm results, no longer than 48 hours after the initial antigen testing. PCR (polymerase chain reaction) are classified as a type of NAAT.

NOTE ABOUT PCR TESTS: A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is performed to detect genetic material from a specific organism, such as a virus. The test detects the presence of a virus if you are infected at the time of the test. The test could also detect fragments of virus even after you are no longer infected.

A PCR test for COVID-19 is a test used to diagnose people who are currently infected with SARS-CoV-2, which is the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The PCR test is the “gold standard” test for diagnosing COVID-19 because it’s the most accurate and reliable test.

Most antigen test kits will return results in approximately 10–30 minutes.

Antigen testing is done at-home using an over-the-counter test kit. You may also be able to get an antigen test at your local health clinic, pharmacy, or physician.  

No, you can purchase an Antigen Test at retail locations, or online through Amazon. Some pharmacies may offer walk-in options for Antigen testing.

Laboratory and testing professionals who conduct diagnostic or screening testing for SARS-CoV-2 with non-over-the-counter antigen tests must also comply with Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) regulations. Any laboratory or testing site that intends to report patient-specific test results to a person or healthcare provider must first obtain a CLIA certificate and meet all requirements to perform that testing. For more information, see CMS’ How to Obtain a CLIA Certificate of Waiver.

Follow the manufacturer’s instruction for use typically found in the package. Antigen tests should never be frozen and typically require to be stored at room temperature (59-86°F) before use.

Each test may be different, please refer to the manufacturer’s instruction for use typically found in the package.

Here are some example videos:

BinaxNOW at-home Antigen Test Directions
Ellume COVID-19 at-home Antigen Test Demo

**The County of San Bernardino does not sponsor or is affiliated with any organizations or manufacturers listed on this page.**

Each test may be different, please refer to the manufacturer’s instruction for use typically found in the package.

Here is an example of a negative test result as indicated by one line:

Here is an example of a positive test result as indicated by two lines:

Yes, fully vaccinated people who have come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 should be tested 3-5 days following the date of their exposure, but do not need to stay home. A mask should be worn in public indoor settings for 14 days following an exposure or until a negative test result. If the test result is positive, then isolate.

Please refer to the CDC for more guidelines on Quarantine and Isolation.

Although the risk that fully vaccinated people could become infected with COVID-19 is low, any fully vaccinated person who experiences symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should isolate themselves from others, be clinically evaluated for COVID-19 (i.e., active symptoms of COVID-19), and tested for SARS-CoV-2 if indicated. The symptomatic fully vaccinated person should inform their healthcare provider of their vaccination status at the time of presentation to care.

NOTE: These locations offer rapid antigen tests and should only be considered options. It is not a comprehensive list of all locations offering COVID-19 antigen testing. Free PCR tests are available at sbcovid19.com/testing-sites. Amazon and Walmart are currently offering at-home rapid antigen tests at cost.

CVS PHARMACY
Contact Information: https://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing
Cost: Free
Location Information: Per CVS – COVID-19 testing is performed at no cost to you. Health insurance companies are required to cover 100% of the cost. If you have insurance, we will ask for those details. If not, we may ask for your Social Security number or driver’s license/state ID in order to bill the federal program for the uninsured. In either case, you will owe nothing out of pocket.

PREMIER URGENT CARE CENTER OF CALIFORNIA – SAN BERNARDINO
Contact Information: https://www.premierurgentcarecalifornia.com/covid-19-testing or call (909) 883-1098
Cost: $150.00
Location Information: Walk-in only. Antigen testing only. Locations in Indio, Coachella, San Bernardino and Riverside. Insurance may cover the testing cost. They offer PCR testing as well.

TOTALCARE (WALK-IN CLINIC) – Chino
Contact Information: https://totalcarenow.com/covid/
Cost: $80.00
Location Information: Locations in Chino, Eastvale, Corona, El Monte. Rapid test is self-pay only.

ONE TESTING
Contact Information: Call (909) 360-8818
Cost: $80.00
Location Information: Locations in Chino, Eastvale, Corona, El Monte. Rapid test is self-pay only.

CENTRAL URGENT MEDICAL CARE
Contact Information: Call (909) 941-0920
Cost: $125.00
Location Information: 9695 Baseline Rd., Rancho Cucamonga

ABOVE URGENT CARE
Contact Information: Call (909) 297-3361
Cost: $120.00
Location Information: 8891 N. Central Ave., Suite A, Montclair

HEALTH R US
Contact Information: Call (760) 261-4255
Cost: $100.00
Location Information: 13622 Bear Valley Rd., Suite 9, Victorville

Below are a few online and retail purchase options for over-the-counter at-home antigen tests.

Abbott BINAXNow
Result Time: 15 minutes
Test Demonstration/Directions: HOW TO: A Guide for the BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Self Test

Access Bio CareStart
Result Time: 10 minutes
Test Demonstration/Directions: Method of Use

Ellume COVID-19 Home Test
Result Time: 15 minutes
Test Demonstration/Directions: How It Works

Orasure Intelliswab Test
Result Time: 30 minutes
Test Demonstration/Directions: Instructions for Use

Quidel QuickVue At-Home
Result Time: 10 minutes
Test Demonstration/Directions: User Instructions

Medek aiDX Rapid
Result Time: 10 minutes
Test Demonstration/Directions: Method of Use

To read more about Antigen testing and how it works, please visit:

Interim Guidance for Antigen Testing SARS-CoV-2