At Walk In Clinic London, we have different types of tests available for COVID-19, including lab-tested PCR, rapid antigen, and antibody test. However, our offers also include rapid PCR testing, which is recommended for travel purposes.
It is worthy of note that all our COVID-19 testing options can be gotten from the comfort of your home. When you book with us, we dispatch an expert that will come to your home to collect the sample. Also, we would like you to note that insurance does not cover COVID-19 test for patients without symptoms or those that have not been exposed to a person with confirmed COVID-19 infection in the last 14 days. Walk In Clinic London will give bill for every asymptomatic COVID-19 testing in full for every visit and our partner laboratories will do the same for the lab work.
What are the available types of testing?
There are different types of testing, and the one we offer our patients depends on their medical history and symptom.
When the patient is sick or has symptoms
Patients with symptoms or those that have been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 patient in the last 14 days will benefit from our rapid antigen test, which provides result on the same day. We may also offer a PCR test in place of the former, but the PCR has a four to six-day turnover depending on the current timing of the lab.
When symptoms are not Shown
- Patients that have been directly exposed to confirmed COVID-19 case will have a PCR test with a four to six-day waiting time for result. They will access this test through our lab partners.
- Patients that still want to run a COVID-19 test even when they have not been directly exposed to a COVID-19 case confirmed by the CDC will also have a PCR test. However, the patient will pay for this test which includes the cost of visit, evaluation, and service. This fee will come from us at Walk In ClinicLondon and our lab partners.
- Patients who will like to be evaluated for a prior illness will have an antibody test through our lab partners.
Why Walk In Clinic London offers different testing
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR), antigen testing, and antibody (serology) testing are the three available tests for COVID-19. The PCR and antigen testing are suitable for detecting patients with a current infection while the antibody test detects patients with the previous infection.
There can be 2 approaches for virus presence testing. The first is by checking for the RNA of the virus. This RNA of the virus just like DNA is its genetic code. When testing the nasal swab, we search for a part of the genetic code from this virus. This is the method that we have adopted for a couple of months now as it is beneficial for checking for current and active infections. This is the work of the PCR test, and when compared to other testing methods, it is believed to be the ‘gold standard.’
Though the collection of sample for the antigen test is the same as that for the PCR (nasal swab for symptomatic patients), the testing is not the same. Antigen testing locates an active infection of COVID-19 by searching for some pieces of proteins that are a composition of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Though this is still a suitable test, when compared to the PCR, it can be less sensitive.
Another testing method is the search for antibodies. After an infection, the immune system of the patient produces antibodies, so these antibodies are indirect leads that show that the patient was once infected.
The antibodies’ development requires time in the human body. Only 50% of COVID-19 patients test positive to antibodies after five days, but after two weeks from the onset of symptoms, makes the test accurate to about 95%.
Can I still test for COVID-19 with antibody test if I am currently having symptoms?
We do not use antibody tests to detect current infections. This is because the available tests for antibodies do not test for early antibodies. The use of alternative tests like PCR is more reliable.
What if I’m not having symptoms anymore?
If you have just recovered from a seemingly respiratory infection and want to detect if it was COVID-19, we will run a test for you. However, the approach we will follow will be dependent on the amount of time that has passed.
What is the cost of this test? Does insurance cover it?
You will get our testing through two simple steps. First, you will have a brief video conversation with our certified expert, and then you will get the real visit through house call.
Walk In ClinicLondon is in collaboration with many top insurers, including Medicare, so their insurance covers only suspected active cases of COVID-19. The cost for PCR and antibody tests will be determined by the lab partners that will undertake them.
Does the FDA approve this test?
Yes, The FDA has given its approval for the use of these tests with an Emergency Use Authorisation.
How do I get tested?
You just need to checkout at www.walkinclinic.london to schedule a visit and get a slot for a 24/7 video visit. Here, a board-certified expert will evaluate you and tell you about the recommended options for testing,
What if I need to test for school, work, or travel-related purposes?
If you need testing for school or work, you should consult the issuing authority to find out their guidelines. For travelling, the government site or the transportation company or airline, or the regulatory body will provide the requirements. If these include PCR tests, we will offer you our rapid PCR testing.
If my test result is still positive even after I’m free from the symptoms, can I assume I’m now immune and ready to mix up with the public?
In the aspect of shedding the dead viruses, it is believed that a person should no longer be contagious 14 days after the onset of symptoms (but this is also dependent on other factors) even with personal contacts. Also, the presence of antibodies may prove immunity to some extent. However, the patient should still exercise caution when dealing with the public and get rapid PCR test in London for COVID-19 as we cannot guarantee the level of protection the antibodies provide from future infection.