A new COVID-19 rapid test promises results before you leave the clinic if you may still be contagious days later.
Whitney Williams, a law school graduate, feared that she might have been exposed to the corona virus from someone she'd met on vacation.
She went to Culver City Urgent Care, one of the locations where the faster test was offered.
"I love 15 minutes," she said. "Waiting four to six days doesn't help."
Rapid blood tests to determine if a patient has antibodies have been available for several months. However, the more difficult challenge is to get quick results when the person is infected and contagious.
As with other COVID-19 tests, a new rapid test developed by Quidel starts with a swab sample. However, this new rapid test is less invasive and less uncomfortable.
The sample must be incubated for 15 minutes before entering a machine that takes 10 seconds to process. People who receive the test can distance themselves socially on the front lawn until they get their results.
"And if you get the results in 15 minutes, the provider can control patient care immediately," said Dr. Morris Kokhab.
Dr. Kokhab received the new test system for 12 of its UrgentMED nursing clinics last week.
He said that they give more accurate results than the main PCR test because less than 4% of the cases are missing.
"Of 100 people you test who have this disease, 96.7% are positive," he said. "It is very sensitive. It is very specific."
No appointment is required in most urgent care facilities, but the quick result costs $ 125.
The quick test is so new that it is not yet insured.
Also on Tuesday, Becton-Dickson announced that its COVID-19 rapid test had received emergency approval from the FDA. However, there is no information about when the Becton-Dickinson test will be available.
Culver City Urgent Care currently uses the Quidel test and remains open for four hours a night until midnight to meet demand.
As for Williams, the law school graduate recently took a break from studying for the bar exam and was relieved to learn that she would not need quarantine. It was tested negative.