COVID-19 Test: Types, Strategies, and Requirements

COVID-19 Test: Types, Strategies, and Requirements

At the beginning of 2020, could you have imagined that Rapid Antigen and PCR tests would become a regular part of your vocabulary? We have all learned a lot about COVID-19 testing over the pandemic.

Thankfully numerous COVID-19 testing options are now available to help mitigate the spread of COVID.


What are the major types of COVID-19 Tests? 

There are two major types of COVID-19 diagnostic tests - Antigen and Molecular (RT-PCR) tests. Both are useful and important to the multilayer approach to dealing with COVID-19. 


What are Antigen tests?

  • Antigen tests detect specific proteins on the surface of the virus.
  • The results from these tests are rapid, typically in under 30 minutes.
  • Antigen tests can be performed virtually anywhere.
  • Antigen tests do not require a prescription.
  • The rule of thumb is to use an OTC Rapid Antigen test within 72 hours of known exposure or at the first sign of symptoms. 


What are Molecular RT-PCR tests?

  • Molecular tests detect the virus's genetic material.
  • These tests are considered the "gold standard" by the medical community.
  • PCRs use saliva or sample from nasal swabs and amplify the genetic material within the sample so that even small amounts of coronavirus genes in the sample can be detected.
  • The test material is amplified using a technique called polymerase chain, PCR. PCR tests are highly sensitive and approach 100% accuracy.
  • PCR tests are performed using special equipment and are typically performed at a healthcare facility.
  • There is an at-home PCR system called CUE Health Cartridge tests.
  • bttn offers CUE Health Cartridge PCR tests along with the CUE Health Reader.
  • The CUE Health System is referred to by many in the tech industry as Google's "most coveted perk."


How do OTC tests work?

  • OTC COVID-19 tests typically require the user to swab the nasal passage and wait 10-15 minutes for results.
  • It is important to swab the nasal passage before using the regent, as reagents are not meant to go into the body.
  • The accuracy of OTC COVID tests varies, but they are considered particularly accurate if the user is experiencing symptoms and their viral load is very high.


Who should use OTC tests?

  • If you are an employer outside healthcare, OTC COVID-19 tests are a great tool to help identify positive cases and minimize outbreaks.
  • You can purchase OTC tests directly from bttn's website, keep an inventory on hand, and distribute tests to your employees for weekly testing.


What is a POC COVID-19 Rapid Test 

  • POC stands for Point of Care.
  • POC tests are packaged with multiple test cartridges or cards and one reagent bottle to activate the tests.
  • The small reagent bottle works on all the tests and is meant to stay with the cartridges.
  • POC tests are meant to be used by healthcare providers and require a CLIA waiver to purchase.


 What is CLIA?

  • CLIA is a federal regulation that regulates how laboratories handle "human specimens," which is mucus from the nasal swab in the case of COVID-19 tests.
  • Laboratories that perform screening or diagnostic testing for SARS-CoV-2 must have a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certificate and meet regulatory requirements.
  • Our suppliers have received CLIA accreditation and FDA approval for selling COVID-19 Tests.
  • Suppose you are an employer in a healthcare setting or a school or organization with an on-premise nurse, in that case, you may have a CLIA waiver.
  • POC tests can be a great option to test your patients, staff, and even students, and bttn has a variety of POC test options.
  • Click on the images below to see our vendors' CLIA Certifications


CLIA Certification Requirements

Are you an organization looking to get CLIA certified? Download PDF CLIA Instructions and the CLIA Application.


Card Kits and Cartridges

What product should you buy? You will find test type information in the "description" portion of bttn's products. We frequently add to our inventory, so check the COVID-19 test collection for our current list.

Medical Advice Disclaimer:

The information provided by bttn on this website is not medical advice, and all materials on this website, including text and images, are for educational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for advice from a professional healthcare provider.