How Does A COVID-19 PCR Test Work?

How Does A COVID-19 PCR Test Work?

At this stage of the Coronavirus pandemic, you may have gotten a PCR test done for the detection of COVID-19. Nonetheless, the question of how the PCR test works remains among the most frequently asked. 

In this post, we will explain what the PCR test is, how it works, and how PMH Laboratory conducts PCR testing to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2.

What is a PCR test?

PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction. This is used to detect genetic material from an organism, in this case, SARS-CoV-2. If you are currently infected with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the PCR test will be positive. A negative PCR test does not mean that you are currently not infected with the virus, but rather that you were not infected at the time of the test. The PCR test is the most accurate and reliable test to detect the virus that causes COVID-19.

What Kind of PCR Testing Does PMH Laboratory Do?

PMH Laboratory utilizes Thermo Scientific Taq-Pac and Sequonce as our COVID-19 testing platforms. They are both Real-Time PCR test methods with 99% sensitivity and 99% specificity rates, making our platform highly sensitive. This sensitivity allows PMH to accurately report active COVID-19 infections.

How is a PCR test conducted?

Testing with PMH Laboratory is easy. The entire process, from someone’s check-in to completion, will take approximately 2-5 minutes. The test is non-invasive. It is a mouth swab that is easy to collect. After coughing into your mask, you will be asked to run a swab inside your mouth to collect oral fluids. This swab is securely placed in a plastic tube to be processed.

How can I get my results?

Upon completion of testing, an auto-email will be generated to the participants' email with a link and access code. PMH will provide the username and password. If you have any questions, you can also reach us at (562) 592-2890.