Banner Health
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COVID-19 Testing

Banner Health offers only diagnostic testing, which will confirm if you are currently infected with COVID-19. We do not offer antibody testing.

How is COVID-19 detected?

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can be detected two ways: an antigen test or a molecular test.

What is an antigen 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.

What is a molecular test?

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 nearly 100% accurate.

What test is Banner using for its patients?

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.

How long will it take for my molecular (PCR) test to come back?

Turnaround time depends on the lab that will process your test. Banner Health does not do processing, so we are unable to provide an exact turnaround time. Banner sends its samples to Sonora Quest Laboratories to be processed. Please check the Sonora Quest website for updated information on turnaround time for COVID testing.

I took a COVID-19 test at home, why am I being tested again?

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.

COVID Testing in Arizona

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.

Testing is also offered at other non-Banner sites. Contact your primary care provider or visit a health department website to find other testing locations.

COVID Testing in Other Banner Markets

If you are concerned that you might have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, please contact your primary care provider.

What to expect at and after your appointment

Please wear a mask to your appointment and bring your health insurance card with you if you have one.

Upon arrival, you will check in and complete necessary paperwork. Once you are called back to a room, a Banner team member will gather your vitals and personal health history. You will then see a provider who will evaluate you and your symptoms to determine if testing is necessary. If you require a COVID test, a Banner team member will swab the inside of your nose to collect a sample. Once your sample collection is complete, you can then return home to isolate until we contact you with your results. You should expect a call from Banner Health with your results provided to you over the phone. You can also access documentation of your results on the Banner Health or Sonora Quest patient portals.

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 are symptom-free so that you do not get others sick.

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 isolation. This isolation period is extremely important to ensure you do not spread the virus to others. Current CDC guidance is to isolate for 5 days followed by an additional 5 days of continuous masking around others.

If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and believe you are experiencing a life-threatening 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.