UnityPoint Clinic – Sioux City announced today that asymptomatic patients can now receive a rapid COVID-19 test at all UnityPoint Clinic primary care locations, as well as at UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care – Sunnybrook.
“We’re excited to offer a rapid point-of-care COVID-19 test option for asymptomatic patients,” shares Jeremy Granger, MD, UnityPoint Clinic Regional Medical Director. “The rapid antigen is available for patients who do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and need a test for upcoming travel or were exposed to COVID-19 and would like to stop quarantine after day 7. PCR tests and rapid antigen tests are available based on guidelines for all age groups, and can be facilitated at our family medicine, pediatric, and urgent care clinics.”
For asymptomatic patients, the rapid antigen test delivers a fast, highly accurate result from one nasal swab, providing critical answers to patients, and their care team, in approximately 30-45 minutes. The PCR test remains the gold standard for symptomatic patients and results are available within 1-2 days, however we anticipate rapid PCR testing capabilities to be available later this year.
“We believe this will be a helpful diagnostic tool for patients. In addition, as more and more individuals are being vaccinated and families are starting to plan vacations, we understand patients may be interested in asymptomatic testing for travel reasons,” Granger says.
For those who are experiencing symptoms it is important to get tested within the first five days of symptoms. The earlier someone gets tested, the more likely they are to be eligible for therapeutics treatment, which helps to avoid hospitalization and severe disease.
“Therapeutics, including monoclonal antibody treatments, have been extremely effective in keeping COVID-19 positive patients out of the hospital, but because some patients are waiting to get tested, it can be too late in their disease progression to use therapies like this, which have proven effective in treating COVID-19,” Granger says. “Testing earlier means more treatment options may be available.”
“We’re fortunate to offer this service to our patients not only for their peace of mind in knowing their result is accurate, but to also help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” says Granger. “Testing and getting the COVID-19 vaccine is what will help our community get back to the new ‘normal’ that we are all aiming to get to.”
To learn more about testing and vaccine locations, visit unitypoint.org