COVID-19 TESTING INFO
You’ve probably heard a lot about coronavirus testing recently. If you think you have coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and need a test, The Lab at Seascape can help.
Here you can learn more about our COVID-19 testing and the steps involved.
Our diagnostic test can show if you have an active coronavirus infection and should take steps to quarantine or isolate yourself from others. Currently there are two types of diagnostic tests which detect the virus – molecular tests such as RT-PCR that detect the virus’s genetic material, which is our current testing method, and antigen tests that detect specific proteins on the surface of the virus.
We use the most accurate molecular test available. Our molecular COVID-19 test utilizes a throat swab to detect even trace evidence of a virus.
Our tests to diagnose COVID-19 are based on detection of the virus’s genetic material in a sample from the patient’s nose or throat. These steps may change as new technology becomes available, but currently the typical steps in molecular testing are:
A doctor, pharmacist, or other health professional orders a COVID-19 test. All COVID-19 tests, including those used with a home collection kit, require a prescription or order from a health professional.
We use a specialized swab to collect mucus from the patient's throat.
Put the swab in a sterile container and seal it for transport to a lab.
A lab technician mixes chemicals with the swab to extract the genetic material of any virus that may be on the swab.
The lab technician uses special chemicals, called primers and probes, and a high-tech machine to conduct several controlled heating and cooling cycles to convert the virus's RNA into DNA, and then make millions of copies of the DNA. Some tests use only one warming cycle to make copies of the DNA.
When DNA binds to specific probes, a special type of light is produced that can be seen by the machine and the test shows a "positive" result for infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.