COVID-19 Testing: Frequently Asked Questions


What types of COVID-19 tests are there?

Molecular PCR tests

Considered the gold standard for SARS-COV-2 detection, this test checks samples from the respiratory system (nasal, oral, throat) to determine whether an infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 is present.  This test is recommended to diagnose active infection in symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals.  This test must be sent to a laboratory, a process that may take 2-4 days.

Antigen tests

These rapid tests also check samples from the respiratory system to diagnose active infection in symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. These point of care tests do not need to be sent to a laboratory and result may be available in less than an hour.  Some of these tests are not as accurate as PCR tests and need confirmatory testing with PCR if results are negative. 

Antibody tests

Antibody tests, taken from a blood sample, determine if a person was previously infected with SARS-COV-2 even if that person never showed symptoms.  The CDC does not recommend using these tests to determine active infection.

Which tests do you offer?

Steamboat Springs Pediatric House Calls can collect nasal swab specimens for molecular (PCR) testing.  This is a send out lab that takes approximately 2-4 days for results. The nasal swab is collected from the anterior nares (1 cm into the nostrils).

What is the cost of COVID-19 testing?

Steamboat Springs Pediatric House Calls charges $50 for the collection and transport of PCR specimens.  The cost of the specimen processing, which is billed by the lab, depends on your insurance plan.  Most insurances are covering COVID-19 PCR testing.  Please contact your insurance for additional details.


How long does it take for COVID-19 test results?

Test results are usually available between 2 and 4 days from the date of your test.  Times may be extended due to the lab’s turnaround time. 

When should I be tested for COVID-19?

If you suspect recent exposure, allow at least 4 days to pass to determine if you are asymptomatic.  If you start to experience symptoms, it is recommended to be tested 24 hours after your first symptom begins.