Covid-19 Testing: Local pharmacists and experts say it’s important to know the difference between the types of diagnostic tests available

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The US Food and Drug Administration says there’s two different types of tests: diagnostic tests and antibody tests.

“The antibody test, which are really only of academic interest, really to tell you whether or not you in fact had covid and recovered, but it doesn’t really tell us how long or how protective those antibodies will be,” said Dr. Steven Lana, Delaware Pediatrics.

For diagnostic tests, a molecular test or a rapid test are available to the public. Molecular tests are available at just about any pharmacy or urgent care in Erie County. 

The FDA says, rapid testing can show results in just minutes, compared to molecular testing where results can be available anywhere from the same day to a full week. 

“The rapid test that we have, these 15 minute tests, they differ from the PCR molecular, in that the results are rapid in 15 minutes and the sensitivity is a bit lower, ours is 90 percent where the PCR molecules that you would get an urgent care are 95 percent,” said Don Arthur owner and head pharmacist at Brighton Eggert Compounding Pharmacy

The Brighton Pharmacy in Tonawanda is offering rapid testing to everyone for a flat rate of just $65 dollars.

In general, testing for Covid-19 depends on your insurance, and, it can range from $0 to $225

Both Erie County and New York state offer testing for free.

Right now, the Erie County Health Department is testing folks who show symptoms or have had contact with a positive case. The health department also says, now is not the time to screen your phone calls, because the health department or contact tracer could be calling with covid news.

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