Find the Right Test for Your Needs

Use This Quick Guide to Understand What Tests Are Available And When to Use Them - Don’t Understand a term? Use our helpful Glossary at the bottom of this guide to learn more


Over-the-counter Tests with Rapid Results

Results in 30 minutes or less. Most often refers to Antigen tests but new technology means some Molecular tests as well.

Great For:

  • Immediate use at home
  • Pre-event proof of negative results
  • Post group gatherings
  • Camp testing programs
  • Small business screening programs

Pros: Less waiting for answers and an easy way to test groups quickly.

Cons: Some Rapid Antigen Tests should only be used within the first few days of symptoms and a molecular test may be needed to confirm a negative test result.

Mail-In Molecular Tests

Mail-In Molecular Tests

Individually Purchased Mail-In PCR Tests with Expedited Shipping. Molecular tests for symptomatic or asymptomatic cases.

Best For:

  • Employee at-home use when a rapid antigen negative test result requires confirmation
  • Proof of negative PCR result when required for domestic travel
  • Business testing programs (specific to DxTerity)

Pros: High accuracy level and everything that is needed to complete a PCR test is included.

Cons: Requires sample to be mailed-in via FedEx for results versus instant results at home.

Point of Care Tests

Point of Care Tests

Professional Point of Care Testing with CLIA Requirements. Sample is collected and analyzed through either molecular or antigen test at the “point of care,” meaning at a doctor’s office, clinic, or testing site.

Best For:

  • School nurse testing programs to confirm positive cases at school
  • Medical or dental office testing prior to a procedure
  • Family practice testing programs
  • Camp nurse on-site testing for campers and staff

Pros: Easy to administer by trained professionals for large scale testing programs and in doctor’s offices. Removes need for employee at-home testing.

Cons: CLIA requirements must be met, a special certification issued when specific criteria are met to run tests.

Learn More About Setting Up a Testing Program in our Article on Including Testing in your Covid 19 Plan


Molecular Tests: Sometimes called NAATs (Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests), Diagnostic Tests, Viral Tests, RT-PCR Tests or RT-LAMP Tests. Molecular tests are typically highly accurate and do not require follow-up testing after receiving results.

Antigen Tests: Positive results are considered highly accurate, but negative results may need to be followed up with an additional test.

Screening Tests: Tests that are administered with the intention of detecting infections to prevent spread before people become symptomatic. These are great for testing workers before they enter the workplace, periodic testing at regular intervals (such as weekly), testing new staff, and testing workers with prolonged absences.

Diagnostic Tests: Tests that are used to diagnose a current infection. These tests are best for on demand use for people who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or were recently exposed to a positive SARS-COV-2 infection.

CLIA: The Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) regulate laboratory testing and require clinical laboratories to be certified by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) before they can accept human samples for diagnostic testing. Laboratories can obtain multiple types of CLIA certificates, based on the kinds of diagnostic tests they conduct

Recommended Resources

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When to Test: Need to make tests available to your employees but don't know which ones would be appropriate? We can work with you & When-to-Test to help you answer this!