Molecular (PCR) Testing FAQs
The information below provides answers to frequently asked questions.
Providers should not refer any patients suspected (persons under investigation) or confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 to a WestPac Labs Patient Service Center or other phlebotomy sites.
Our Patient Service Centers are now performing COVID-19 antibody testing and can be collected with providers orders. It is important to note, that our Patient Service Centers cannot collect respiratory (e.g. nasopharyngeal swabs), specimens for individuals who believe they have COVID-19 and are symptomatic
Uses nucleic acid-amplification technology (e.g., PCR), which detects the genetic information and indicates active infection with the virus which causes COVID-19.
A negative test result for this test means that SARS-CoV-2 RNA was not detected in the specimen. However, a negative result does not completely rule out COVID-19 and should not be used as the sole basis for treatment or patient management decisions. When diagnostic testing is negative, the possibility of a false negative result should be considered in the context of any recent exposure and clinical signs or symptoms that may suggest COVID-19. The possibility of a false negative result should especially be considered if COVID-19 is clinically likely and diagnostic tests for other causes of illness (e.g., other respiratory illness) are negative. If COVID-19 is still suspected, re-testing should be considered by healthcare providers in consultation with public health authorities.
A positive test result indicates that SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected, and the patient is presumably infected with the virus and presumably contagious. Laboratory test results should be considered in the clinical and community context to establish a final diagnosis and care plan. Positive results do not rule out simultaneous bacterial infection or co-infection with other viruses. Patient management decisions should be made by a healthcare provider and should follow the current CDC guidelines. The COVID-19 test has been designed to minimize the likelihood of false-positive test results, but it may not be possible to completely exclude a false positive.
Are Patient Service Centers (PSC) allowed to collect specimens (e.g., nasopharyngeal, oropharyngeal swabs) for COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 testing?
Our Patient Service Centers sites are now performing COVID-19 antibody testing and can be collected with providers orders. It is important to note, that our Patient Service Centers cannot collect respiratory (e.g. nasopharyngeal swabs) specimens for individuals who believe they have COVID-19 and are symptomatic
Our Patient Service Centers are only accepting asymptomatic patients along with medical provider’s orders. As always, please contact your healthcare provider for information about collection options.