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Circle Medical expands San Francisco COVID-19 testing to include antibody testing

Viral testing is critical to containing the COVID-19 pandemic, and returning to our jobs and our community. We have been receiving many requests for information about testing — especially antibody testing — and are pleased to be offering this as of Tuesday, April 28. Click here to book.

As there is a lot of misinformation circulating, it’s important to understand what the available testing can and can’t tell you.

PCR testing — For current infection
Like a DNA test for a virus.

The PCR test is a swab used to detect the RNA of the virus. This is like a DNA test for a virus. It is quite sensitive and is an excellent way to tell if you have a current infection.

A negative test result means you most likely don’t have an active infection. If the swabbing is not handled accurately, you can get a false negative result.

A positive test result means you almost certainly have an active infection, or have recovered very recently.

Antibody testing — For past infection
Not a test for immunity (yet).

This is a blood test that detects antibodies that you may have produced when you were exposed to the COVID-19 virus. It works best if you wait 14 days or more after symptoms.

A negative result means you probably have not been exposed to the virus.

Because of the high possibility of false positives, a positive result will be communicated to you by a Circle Medical provider, who will help interpret it.

Keep in mind:

  • A positive result does not tell you if you are immune.
  • A positive result does not tell you whether you are safe to return to work.
  • A positive result does not tell you whether you have the virus right now.

If you’d like to be tested, please book a COVID test appointment with Circle Medical. A provider will assess you and order the appropriate test.

If you book a testing appointment, please note the following:

  • There is only one appointment type. Just select “COVID testing.” You will meet individually with a medical provider who will assess you, answer your questions, and order either PCR or antibody testing or both.
  • The assessment will happen over video, after which you will be able to book an appointment to come to our specimen collection site in San Francisco. Specimen collection will generally be available within one business day of your video appointment.
  • The cost of your appointment and testing is covered by your insurance for all insurance plans we accept.
  • Please arrive on time, wearing a mask. There will not be waiting room or bathroom facilities available.
  • Results take 2–3 days for PCR testing and 2–4 days for antibody testing. They will be communicated to you via the Circle Medical app. Positive antibody tests will require an additional appointment, which can be done either in person or via video.

Click to book San Francisco COVID-19 testing, or read our Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 testing.

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