Testing Basics

How does Covid-Rapid work?

Covid-Rapid looks for the antibodies that the human body produces to fight COVID-19. It requires a finger prick and a few drops of blood, which are placed into the small well on the test. Then, reagent is added and the blood travels up the strip of paper where IgM and IgG antibodies in the patient’s blood interact with antigens specific to SARS-CoV-2. IgM antibodies are produced by the body during infection, and IgG antibodies are produced after infection.

After 15 minutes, red lines indicate the result. If only one line appears, the test is negative. If more than one line appears, the test is positive. A positive result indicates that the patient has been exposed to COVID-19 and has developed antibodies to fight it. The presence of IgM indicates current infection, while IgG indicates infection at least 10 – 15 days prior.

Covid-Rapid has been validated against PCR samples from both known positive and known negative patient samples. While PCR remains the gold standard, lack of testing capacity with PCR has led to a severe shortage of available tests, likely resulting in increased spread of the disease from those who are unaware of their infection. We hope that increased access to testing will allow those who know their status to make responsible decisions for themselves and those around them.

For those with recent infections (in the last 6-7 days), the antibodies may not yet have formed, resulting in a negative test. Patients who suspect that they may be in that window should pursue a PCR test at a local laboratory and/or retake the Covid-Rapid again in 48 hours. Medical providers should use caution when advising patients to remove themselves and co-habitants from self-quarantine.

See more information about our test on our dedicated page for providers.