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PCR Molecular Identification

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology can detect and confirm infectious diseases, including COVID-19. PCR technology works by determining if a patient's specimen contains genetic material from a particular pathogen. PCR tests differ from antigen tests by detecting specific proteins of the pathogen, instead of the genetic material. PCR testing is considered the gold standard in detecting pathogens like SARS-CoV-2 because it detects the virus within days of exposure to the infection, even in asymptomatic individuals. PCR tests can be collected in a clinic, hospital, or at drive-up testing sites.

Turnaround time for a PCR test is typically longer depending on test demand. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, the current recommendations are to have a confirmation test performed via PCR.