Local pharmacist explains different COVID-19 testing options, as cases increase in Florida

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Posted at 6:53 AM, Apr 02, 2021

PALM HARBOR, Fla. — The Health Department’s latest report shows the highest number of COVID-19 cases in nearly a month.

Local pharmacists tell us they’ve seen a steady flow of people come to get tested.

Experts say if someone is sick, or they’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19, they should wait at least two to five days from exposure before getting tested.

One of the testing options is a rapid antigen test that can give you results within 10 minutes.

“Another type of rapid antigen test is a PCR test. That’s the one if you’re having surgery, or you’re traveling, especially internationally, a lot of times they will require a PCR molecular test,” said Nicolette Mathey, Pharmacist and Owner of Palm Harbor Pharmacy.

This is considered the most accurate, sensitive test.

Often places have to send that test off to an outside lab to get the results, which is why it can sometimes take days to get those results.

However, a few institutions, like Palm Harbor Pharmacy, have purchased the machine so they’re able to process their own PCR tests to get results in 30 minutes.

The other testing option is an antibody test.

“That’s a finger stick and just with a drop of blood, we can see if you have antibodies in your blood. All this time we’ve been testing people for antibodies to see if they’ve had COVID. We’ll what’s really cool now is if you’ve been vaccinated and you do the finger stick, blood test, you will show antibodies,” said Mathey.