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COVID-19 Testing FAQ

Covid-19-Testing-FAQ
Here are answers to a few of the frequently asked questions on the testing that we perform.
If you have any other questions, please call our clinic at

Covid-19 Testing FAQ

We offer two types of Covid-19 test that tell you if you were infected with Covid-19 when the test was done:

  • the Covid-19 PCR (NAAT) swab test
  • the Covid-19 Antigen Test

Both use a sample taken from your nose.

The PCR (NAAT) test analyzes nasal swabs using the Abbott ID Now that we operate on site. Because we do our analysis on site with our own equipment, we can offer same day results in most cases. This is subject to demand and time of test.

The short answer is yes. We use Abbott Laboratories testing platforms.

While the Omicron is a variation with spike protein mutations, neither the Abbott PCR Molecular Testing platform or the Rapid Antigen Test rely on the gene to detect viruses. Abbot Laboratories scientists have done extensive examination and determined that the Omicron variant is in fact successfully detected and identified.

An antigen is any foreign substance that results in an immune response. Our immune systems are great at recognizing things that are not supposed to be there. This is done in several ways, but one of them is by producing antibodies that very specifically recognize an antigen. Antibodies themselves don’t kill viruses or the cells that have been infected by a virus, but they do recognize them, essentially flagging them for destruction by other immune cells.

An antigen test can be designed to detect any viral piece. The antigen test used for SARS-CoV-2 detects the virus’s capsid protein. The test itself uses antibodies that specifically bind the SARS-CoV-2 capsid protein that is secured to the test strip.

Antigen tests have three stages:

1. The first stage consists of collecting a sample from the patient, through a nasal or nasopharyngeal swab.

2. Next, the sample is treated with chemicals that expose the virus’s antigens.

3. Lastly, this treated sample is applied on a testing strip, which will visually show whether SARS-CoV-2 antigens are present.

Results for an antigen test can be available within minutes. And, since the test’s results are visually evident, they can be understood by non-professionals.

The Gold Standard PCR testing (also known as polymerase chain reaction testing) was developed over 35 years ago and is one of the most widely used lab tests for finding viruses (and other pathogens like bacteria, fungi and parasites) that cause diseases such as Ebola, SARS and now COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2).

Requires a swab of the tip of the nose and/or throat (not nasopharyngeal) to detect the presence of viral coronavirus RNA. It is considered the gold standard of coronavirus testing, as they are extremely sensitive in detecting the virus in a sample – even after levels have dropped below infectious levels. The PCR sample is then analyzed by our Abbott ID Now.

The Abbott ID NOW is an advanced Molecular Diagnostic Testing Platform.

The Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 assay performed on the Abbott ID NOW instrument is a rapid molecular in vitro diagnostic test utilizing an isothermal nucleic acid amplification technology intended for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid from the SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in direct nasal, nasopharyngeal or throat swabs from individuals who are suspected of COVID-19 by their healthcare provider within the first seven days of the onset of symptoms.

The Abbott Laboratories ID Now is approved for testing by Health Canada.

The test you will need depends on where you are travelling and how you are getting there. Requirements change rapidly and often with little notice, so you should check immediately before your appointment. Our experienced team at Rapid Test Winnipeg can offer guidance at your appointment, but it is your responsibly to check the specific requirements of your destination. Check with your travel agent and/or airline on these questions. Sometimes the embassy or consulate of your destination country will have this information as well.

Covid-19 testing appointments are typically short (10 to 15 minutes). If you arrive on or just before your time, you can be in and out in as little as 10 minutes. Depending on volume of business and time of day, you can get your results in as little as 20 minutes after your test is completed. Once results are completed you will receive a certificate of screening results that can be printed or emailed as a PDF document.