Frequently Asked Questions
Can’t find the answer you’re looking for? We’ve shared some of our most frequently asked questions to help you out. If you still can’t find the answer you need, feel free to contact us!
We offer Covid testing at no cost to the public. Payments are made by 3rd party payers such as private insurance.
If you prefer to self-pay for your test, please see each site for the prices, and any discounts available. Our list price is $135 for the NAA (PCR and TMA) test.
We offer our PCR test at a lower cost than most companies. Why? We are the laboratory. Most testing centers purchase the test from a third-party lab, so they have higher costs. Our mission is to make testing easy and accessible, and that includes more affordable. Besides accepting all insurance, if you want to pay cash, you can, it is less expensive than anybody else can offer it.
Of course. If you chose to pay out of pocket, you can easily do so via credit card during registration. The price is very affordable and lower than anywhere else. Our passion is to make testing easily accessible and very affordable. Please select the self-pay option in the drop-down to see the price at each location.
All insurers are covering 100% of NAA (PCR or TMA) testing costs during this time as part of the national emergency plan (read more about the CARES Act here), and you will not be responsible for co-pays or deductibles. We accept all insurance for standard PCR testing.
Please email email@example.com with any questions related to billing. Covid Test Directly and our laboratory will not hold you responsible for any balance not paid for by your insurance.
We strongly encourage you to book your appointment ahead of time. Selected sites offer walk on testing, and will be noted on the registration site. At this time, we do not handle appointments over the phone. The information you provide during the registration process will be securely and safely stored on our encrypted servers and transmitted to our laboratory.
Please arrive to our testing site 5 minutes prior to your appointment time. If for any reason you are running earlier or later than your appointment time we will be able to accommodate.
Find the center most convenient to you, and simply book an appointment on our website. Nothing to order, nothing to mess with at home. And with the added benefit of getting a higher quality more reliable test. Drive-up. Get swabbed. Get automatically notified when the result is ready, and log in to view (download or print) your result. Once you create an account. It will remember you and if you need to repeat, your registration will be even faster and easier than the first time.
Yes, indeed. At our sites, we can provide an observed self-collection, in which case the parent can perform the collection on the child, or alternatively, our staff can perform the collection. It will be clearly noted on the site whether the site performs self-collections only. To help prepare your child for their testing experience, we recommend you provide them with an explanation on why they are getting tested and share with them the following information. Explain that you or our staff will rub the inside of their nose with a cotton swab and that it may tickle a little and be uncomfortable, but it will not hurt them.
About PCR Testing
It is a test that can show if you have an active coronavirus infection and will determine whether you need to take steps to isolate yourself from others. RT-PCR is a nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT) method. There are other equivalent methods, such as TMA (transcription mediated amplification) for example. NAAT methods such as PCR or TMA tests detect viral genetic material and are considered the gold standard for COVID-19 testing. The big difference between PCR or TMA and antigen testing (found in rapid tests and home kits) is that PCR or TMA can detect the virus even if present in very small quantities because it amplifies the genetic material by creating billions of copies of the viral DNA before detecting it. Therefore they are more sensitive and reliable.
It is a molecular methodology for detecting viral, bacterial, and fungal pathogens. It stands for a reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. In this process, your swab sample undergoes a front-end step to extract the viral RNA and clear any impurities. The extracted RNA is then run through a process (reverse transcription) that creates a DNA copy, that in turn gets amplified repeatedly (the “polymerase chain reaction” or “PCR” part) until several billion copies of the viral DNA get created after several cycles. During this process, probes are also created and then detected at the end by specialized instruments. This “chain reaction” or amplification is the reason why even small quantities of viral material are enough to detect the virus and why it is far superior to rapid antigen tests that only search for the presence of viral proteins without the ability to amplify any material that may be present. The RT (reverse transcription) part, is an extra step specific to RNA viruses, like the novel coronavirus, whereby DNA must be created from RNA, before PCR can begin. DNA viruses do not require that extra step since the starting point is already a DNA strand.
We do not offer antigen testing as an option currently for collection sites open to the public. We offer NAA (PCR or TMA) testing which is the gold standard of testing and unlike other laboratories, our turnaround times are very fast, typically resulting in 24-48 hours but most results will be available under 36 hours. If you have the choice between a PCR test or an antigen test, we strongly discourage antigen testing (mostly found in rapid tests and home kits). Antigen tests have significant limitations and are unreliable. Antigen tests detect viral proteins and, unlike PCR tests, there is no amplification. So if there is insufficient viral material present the antigen test may return a negative result even though the virus is present. This would be what is called a false negative. This is not a great outcome for a screening test, as you may think you are negative, but instead, you are actually positive and thus inadvertently keep spreading the virus. Furthermore, for the reasons already stated, an antigen test is not accepted by most places as a valid negative test for the virus.
They are equivalent. RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) and TMA (transcription mediated amplification) are equivalent nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT) methods. They both accomplish the exact same goal of amplifying DNA but do so by applying different chemistry. PCR does it by subjecting the DNA to multiple thermal cycles, whereas TMA does it by keeping the temperature constant (isothermal reaction). The end result is the same, amplify DNA by creating billions of copies. The CDC considers RT-PCR and TMA equivalent NAAT techniques. In addition to PCR and TMA, there are other equivalent techniques, such as NEAR, LAMP, HDA, CRISPR, and SDA. Our lab performs Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2) testing on multiple platforms, including PCR and TMA.
No, the test will not hurt. Our test kits are validated for anterior mid-nasal collection (nasal swab) which means that the swab is inserted less than one inch into the nostrils. This collection process is pain-free and much more comfortable than the nasopharyngeal collection used in most hospitals and public testing locations.
Tests performed by experienced reference labs are the most reliable. There are many labs created to do just Covid testing. This is easy to tell as they don’t offer much testing beyond Covid. These labs are inexperienced, accredited based on bare minimum standards, and operated by people that have limited laboratory or healthcare experience. Our laboratory has been performing PCR testing for the detection of viral, bacterial, and fungal infections for over a decade, well before the novel coronavirus pandemic emerged. Our core mission has been cancer diagnostics testing. We are trusted by physicians and hospitals with precious samples including tissue specimens from surgeries or bone marrow material to perform sophisticated testing to detect cancer and pathogenic infections. We also operate under higher accreditation standards. In addition to being accredited as a CLIA-88 high complexity laboratory, we are also accredited by CAP (College of American Pathologists) which is a higher standard. Also, note that all rapid tests are Point of Care devices that are typically not operated by labs -they are “black boxes” that produce results without any human quality control processes which would be standard practice for any test performed by a reference laboratory.
Because of HIPPA (patient data protection regulations) reasons we do not email PDF reports. You will receive an automatic email and text (to the email address and mobile number you provided during registration) alerting you that your result is available. You can then follow the link or log in to Test Directly patient portal to view your report, download it or print it as you desire. You can use this PDF report as a travel certificate valid for traveling, or other places that require proof of a recent negative PCR test. If you need additional documentation for airline traveling, please email covidinfo@ArianaDX.com.
Once your specimen is collected, it will be transported and flown overnight to our central laboratory facility. Depending on your collection time, the turnaround time (TAT) from collection to report will be 24-48 business hours or less. Approximately 80% of tests will have results in less than 36 business hours from collection. Many factors outside the laboratory’s control may affects TATs, including shipping delays, weather-related disruptions, and supply chain issues.
We operate our collection centers using a custom-built and fully integrated software system connecting our clinical staff and lab. And unlike other collection centers using third-party labs, we are the lab. Everything is fully integrated and seamless. The second you register, an electronic order is created in our laboratory system, and as soon as your swab sample is collected, the electronic order is submitted. These electronic handoffs result in less time needed for separate data entry and also minimize or eliminate time consuming manual data entry. Lastly, because we are the lab, we fully control the performance of the test and properly manage the workloads to deliver consistent turnaround times. Unlike other labs, we avoid handling more volumes than our daily capacity.
You will receive an e-mail and SMS notification with login information to our portal once the results are back from the lab. You will be able to download your result report in PDF format to easily share it with your employer, family, airline, or any other place that may require proof of negative test.
- First and last name
- Location where you were tested
- Date and time you were test
- Your phone number