Covid PCR Test

What is "PCT Test"

PCR tests detect the presence of the virus's genetic material using a technique called reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, or RT-PCR. For this test, a sample may be collected through a nasal or throat swab, or a saliva sample may be used.

The sample is typically sent to a laboratory where coronavirus RNA (if present) is extracted from the sample and converted into DNA. The DNA is then amplified, meaning that many copies of the viral DNA are made, in order to produce a measurable result. The accuracy of any diagnostic test depends on many factors, including whether the sample was collected properly, when during the course of illness the testing was done, and whether the sample was maintained in appropriate conditions while it was shipped to the laboratory. Generally speaking, PCR tests are highly accurate.

How reliable are the tests for COVID-19?

The PCR test has been the gold standard test for diagnosing COVID-19 since authorized for use in February 2020.

The accuracy of any diagnostic test depends on many factors, including whether the sample was collected properly. For PCR tests, which are typically analyzed in a laboratory, test results may be affected by the conditions in which the test was shipped to the laboratory.

Results may also be affected by the timing of the test. For example, if you are tested on the day you were infected, your test result is almost guaranteed to come back negative, because there are not yet enough viral particles in your nose or saliva to detect. The chance of getting a false negative test result decreases if you are tested a few days after you were infected, or a few days after you develop symptoms.

Generally speaking, if a test result comes back positive, it is almost certain that the person is infected.

If you experience COVID-like symptoms and get a negative PCR test result, there is no reason to repeat the test unless your symptoms get worse. If your symptoms do worsen, call your doctor or local or state healthcare department for guidance on further testing. You should also self-isolate at home. Wear a mask when interacting with members of your household. And practice physical distancing.

Compre Popular Home PCT Tests

We have chosen the following popular home PCR tests sold or developed by accredited providers. 

Brand
Product
Product Image
Collection
Sample Type
Highlights
Price
Purchase
Amazon COVID-19 Test Collection Kit DTC
At-home
Nasal Swab
Results in 24 hours from lab receipt
$39.99 (1 test)
DxTerity COVID-19 Saliva at-Home Collection Kit
At-home
Saliva
At-Home Collection Kit with Prepaid Express Return Shipping
$84.99 (1 test)
Lucira Check It COVID-19 Test Kit
At-home
Nasal Swab
PCR results at home within 30 min
$89.00 (1 test)
Vault Test for COVID-19
At-home
Saliva
Results in 24 hours from lab receipt
$90.00 (1 test)
Notch COVID-19 Home Test
At-home
Saliva
Results in 5-10 business days
$99.00 (1 test)
Assurance Simplicity COVID-19 PCR Home Testing Kit
At-home
Nasal Swab
Results in 24-48 hours from lab receipt
$99.00 (1 test)
EmpowerDX at-Home COVID-19 Nasal PCR Test
At-home
Nasal Swab
Results in 48 hours from lab receipt
$99.99 (1 test)
LetsGet Checked Coronavirus Test (COVID-19)
At-home
Nasal Swab
Results in 24-72 hours from lab receipt
$109.00 (1 test)
Everlywell COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit DTC
At-home
Nasal Swab
Results in 24-72 hours from lab receipt
$109.00 (1 test)
Labcorp COVID-19 Test (At-Home Collection Kit)
At-home
Nasal Swab
Results in 48 hours from lab receipt
$119 (1 test)
My Labbox At Home Coronavirus (COVID-19) Test – Nasal
At-home
Nasal Swab
Results in 24 hours from lab receipt
$119.00 (1 test)
My Labbox At Home Coronavirus (COVID-19) & Flu Viral Detection Test
At-home
Nasal Swab, Saliva
Results in 24 hours from lab receipt
$149.00 (1 test)
QuestDirect COVID-19 and Flu Test Panel
In-person visit
Nasal Swab
Detects RNA from COVID-19, influenza A and influenza B
$205 (1 test)
CUE COVID-19 Tests
At-home
Nasal Swab
Delivers lab-quality results, including for emerging variants, in 20 minutes.
$225.00 (3 tests)
CUE Reader with COVID-19 Tests
At-home
Saliva
Delivers lab-quality results, including for emerging variants, in 20 minutes.
$474.00 (3 tests)