What is (NAAT) RT-PCR COVID-19 Test?

The (NAAT) RT-PCR COVID-19 Test is a molecular, in vitro diagnostic test utilizing end point reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and lateral flow technologies for the qualitative, detection of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA.

The four steps utilized to perform the test are lysis of the virus, reverse transcription of viral RNA to cDNA, nucleic acid amplification, and detection.

The RT-PCR COVID-19 Test has been released under FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2 (the virus responsible for COVID-19 infection), and can be used in applications that require molecular/ RT-PCR testing.

Please consult your state health department for additional information regarding specific uses (such as pre and post travel requirements).

Many travel restrictions require a RT-PRC, molecular, or NAAT test be conducted prior to arrival at the destination.

The RT-PCR COVID-19 test satisfies most travel requirements; however, it is the purchaser’s responsibility to verify the test will be accepted for travel prior to purchase

What are the differences between Rapid Tests or Antigen Tests and other COVID-19 tests? 

There are different kinds of tests for diagnosing COVID19. Molecular tests (also known as PCR tests) detect genetic material from the virus.
Antigen tests detect proteins from the virus. Antigen tests are very specific for the virus, but are not as sensitive as molecular tests. This means that a positive result is highly accurate, but a negative result does not rule out infection. 
If your test result is negative, you should discuss with your healthcare provider whether an additional molecular test would help with your care, and when you should discontinue home isolation.
 If you do not have an additional test to determine if you are infected and may spread the infection to others, the CDC currently recommends that you should stay home until three things have happened: 
  • You have had no fever for at least 24 hours (that is one full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers) AND 
  • Other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath has improved) 
  • At least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.