Banner Health offers only diagnostic testing, which will confirm if you are currently infected with COVID-19. We do not offer antibody testing at this time.
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can be detected two ways: an antigen test or a molecular test.
An antigen test detects the presence of proteins, also known as antigens, found on the surface of the virus. Antigen tests are easy to use, are rapid (usually around 15 minutes), and can be performed almost anywhere. Most home testing for COVID is antigen testing.
Positive results are typically accurate within the first 5-7 days of symptoms, but incorrect results are still known to occur. Studies have also shown that the ability of antigen tests to detect the virus drops over time leading to inaccurate or false-negative results. Therefore, if an antigen test is negative, a molecular test is often used to make sure the patient does not have the virus.
A molecular (or PCR) test detects the genetic material of the virus. These tests are usually performed in a laboratory and can detect very small amounts of the genetic material. Molecular testing is considered the best way to check for COVID since these tests are almost 100% accurate.
Banner has decided to only use molecular testing for its patients. We believe in providing only the highest quality testing as this ensures that the result you receive is accurate and true, without the need for additional testing.
If you are going to be admitted to the hospital, then your molecular test is considered STAT, meaning that you should receive a result in a few hours, if not sooner.
If your doctor/care provider decides to discharge you from the ED, then your test will take a little bit longer, but usually no more than 1-2 days. It is recommended that if you have COVID-19-like symptoms you should isolate from others (quarantine) until your result comes back, to prevent the spread of the virus to your family, friends, and other community members.
Most COVID-19 home tests are antigen tests. We feel that it is in your best interest to confirm your result with a molecular test, since these over the counter tests can provide incorrect results. Having an accurate result guarantees that you will receive the best care and ensures the health and safety of our staff.
Banner Urgent Care offers COVID-19 testing for those who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 as well as those who have concerns of exposure.
If you are concerned that you might have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms such as fever or dry cough, please contact your primary care provider.
Please wear a mask to your appointment and bring your health insurance card with you if you have one.
Upon arrival, you will be asked sign paperwork stating you agree to be tested and you will self-isolate until you are contacted by Banner with your test results. If you agree to these terms, a Banner team member will swab the inside of your nose to collect a sample. This process will take 5-20 minutes. You can then return home to isolate until we contact you with your results. Turnaround time is approximately 1-3 days.
If your test results are negative, you can return to your normal daily routine if you do not have symptoms. Keep in mind you should remain at home if you are still sick. While you may have tested negative for COVID-19, it is possible you have another illness that could spread to others. Manage your symptoms at home and contact your primary care provider (PCP) if you have any questions or concerns. It is important to remain at home until you have been symptom-free for at least 72 hours.
If your test results are positive, Banner will notify the county and state health departments and provide you with next steps, which could include an additional quarantine period. This quarantine period is extremely important to ensure you do not spread the virus to others.
If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and believe you are experiencing a medical event that requires immediate attention, visit an emergency room for evaluation and treatment. Please wear your own mask to the emergency room or put on a hospital-provided mask immediately upon arriving to protect other patients, visitors and health care workers.
COVID-19 specimen collection may be available at Banner clinics, urgent cares and emergency rooms. This is based on test kit availability, and only those who meet criteria will be tested. Please contact your PCP to determine if in-person evaluation or testing might be necessary.
If you have scheduled an appointment at a Banner clinic and are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please call ahead to notify the clinic of your arrival. They will provide you with instructions to safely enter the building.
If your PCP is unable to see you, or you do not have a PCP, we are here to help at our urgent care or emergency care locations. Please wear your own mask or put on a hospital-provided mask immediately upon arrival to protect other patients, visitors and health care workers.