COVID-19 Testing Information

DO I NEED TO GET TESTED?

As the COVID-19 pandemic has progressed, there are many reasons why people may want to get tested.  Now there are several testing methods that serve a variety of different purposes.

Most commonly, people who want to get tested are those who are not feeling well with existing COVID-19 symptoms.  Individuals may also want to get tested in the following circumstances:

  • Planning to travel
  • Need clearance before returning to work or school
  • Suspect they have been exposed to COVID-19
  • Would like to check for COVID-19 antibodies

The CDC and Eastern Idaho Public Health have provided the following information to assist in answering this question and other common questions about COVID-19 testing.

  1. Decision Tree
  2. East Idaho Public Health FAQs

WHICH TEST SHOULD I GET?

There are three test types to consider when requesting a COVID-19 screening.  They include the PCR, antigen and antibody tests.  Use the chart below to determine which test is right for you and learn some helpful details about each testing type.

 PCR (NAAT) TestAntigen TestAntibody Test
Common PurposesTravel Authorization
Clearance for Work
Clearance for School
Suspect Exposure
Need quick results
Clearance for Work
Clearance for School
Suspect Exposure
* Does not Work for Travel Authorization

Checking for antibodies

* Does not Work for Travel Authorization

TimingPatient is SymptomaticPatient is Symptomatic 1-5 days from onset of symptomsPatient is Non-Symptomatic
Preparations
  1. Receive a doctor’s order
  2. Gather insurance info
  3. Go to testing site during operating hours. (No Appointment Necessary)
  4. Stay in vehicle for test
  1. Receive a doctor’s order
  2. Gather insurance info
  3. Go to testing site during operating hours. (No Appointment Necessary)
  4. Stay in vehicle for test
  1. Receive a doctor’s order
  2. Gather insurance info
  3. Go to testing site during operating hours. (No Appointment Necessary)
  4. Stay in vehicle for test
Testing Locations

Idaho Falls

Pocatello

Rexburg

(See maps below)

Idaho Falls

Pocatello

Rexburg

(See maps below)

Idaho Falls

Pocatello

Rexburg

(See maps below)

Testing TypeNasal or pharyngeal swab

Nasal or pharyngeal swab

(Includes Flu A & B test)

Blood draw
Tests for New StrainsYesYesNo
Result TimelineResult times will vary based on availability of suppliesSame day24 – 48 hours
Getting ResultsPatient PortalPatient PortalPatient Portal
Costs$155$95$52

VERY IMPORTANT

Before you request any of these tests, check with the organization requiring the results to see which test they will accept.

 

HOW DO I GET A DOCTOR’S ODER?

There are currently three ways that you may be able to get a doctor’s order.

  1. Call your primary care doctor (preferred)
  2. Call your local public health district office (some have a standing physicians order, some do not)
  3. Go to CrushTheCurveIdaho.com
If you are unable to obtain a doctor’s order for testing, we can provide an order for you through Rocky Mountain Diabetes.

 

WHERE TO GET TESTED

This testing is done by collecting a nasal swab at one of our drive-thru locations in Idaho Falls and Pocatello.

Idaho Falls

3908 Washington Parkway, Idaho Falls
We have moved! This is the new drive-thru location as of August 11, 2020. As you arrive you will see signs and cones set up to help direct you as you arrive to our new location.

Hours: Mon – Fri 9:00am-4:30pm (Closed Sat – Sun)

Pocatello

444 Hospital Way, Pocatello
As of May 24, 2021, we have moved the drive-thru collection site from the Holt Arena parking lot to our Express Lab facility located at 444 Hospital Way in Pocatello.  Follow the directional signs in the parking lot.

Hours: Mon – Fri 9:00am-4:00pm (Closed Sat – Sun)

Rexburg

100 S. Center Street
We have partnered with BYU-Idaho Student Health Center in Rexburg to provide COVID-19 PCR testing. This testing location is on campus located at the corner of East Viking Street and 2nd East. Look for the directional signs at the Kimball parking lot.

Hours: Mon – Fri 9:00am-4:00pm (Closed Sat – Sun)

Testing is available for BOTH STUDENTS AND NON-STUDENTS.

 

WHAT IS THE RAPID TEST AND IT’S REQUIREMENTS?

The antigen test is also known as the “rapid test” or “quick test”.  We perform the antigen test for patients WHO ARE CURRENTLY EXPERIENCING SYMPTOMS AND ARE IN THE FIRST 5 DAYS OF SYMPTOMS

A few things to note about the antigen test:

  1. The antigen test WILL NOT provide an accurate result if you are not experiencing symptoms. 
  2. The antigen test DOES NOT provide adequate documentation for most travel-related requirements. 
  3. All antigen testing with negative or inconclusive results will be verified by PCR testing.
  4. Symptoms need to be within 1-5 days of onset

Only an FDA-approved PCR test run by a CLIA licensed laboratory will typically meet such requirements.  Any patient who is considering or has taken this antigen test should read the following document to understand the limitations of the test and the meaning of the result: Sofia 2 Flu + SARS Antigen Assay fact sheet for patients

 

WHAT IS DIFFERENT ABOUT ANTIBODY TESTING?

COVID-19 Antibody Testing (sometimes called serology or IgG testing) is different than PCR and antigen testing and DOES NOT indicate an active infection. This test indicates presence of antibodies in your body which are specific to COVID-19 and means that your body has previously triggered an immune response to fight a COVID-19 infection. Since it takes your body time to generate these antibodies in numbers adequate for detection, you may get a negative result for this test even if you are actively infected. It can take 10-14 days after infection for sufficient antibodies to be present in your body to result in a positive test.

We do perform antibody testing locally and will typically have a result within 24 hours. Please note that this test requires a blood draw and CAN NOT be done from a nasal swab like the PCR testing.

 

HOW DO I GET MY TEST RESULT?

The best and quickest way to get your result once you’ve been tested is to register for an account on OUR PATIENT PORTAL where you will be notified as soon as your result is complete. From the portal site you will be able to produce the documentation needed to show your negative result for an employer or travel authority. 

 

WE CAN COME TO YOUR BUSINESS!

If you own a business and are interested in our mobile services, we can come to you.  We can test employees, patients, residents for COVID-19 and other health-related conditions as part of our Corporate Wellness Program

 

TRAVEL  INFORMATION

Very Important

Check travel restrictions based on the desired travel destination.  Restrictions, rules and testing requirements often change.  

Timing of results differ by location and beware that some accept results based on the time of the report and some are based on the time the specimen was taken.

 

I’m traveling to a state or country which requires a test, what do I do? 

The following paragraphs outline some of the most important information to know if you plan to travel.  The following three general steps will help you along your way.

1.  Review Destination Travel Requirements

There are multiple states and countries requiring anybody who is entering their territory from another location to provide proof that they are COVID-19 free upon arrival. For most locations, the only adequate proof currently being accepted is a negative result from a PCR-based nasal swab test performed within a certain number of days our hours prior to departure.  

Neither the antigen or antibody tests provide adequate documentation for most travel-related requirements.

You should review the COVID testing and travel requirements for your destination regularly to ensure you understand what will be allowed and required. These requirements may change day to day, depending on the travel destination. With many different requirements and frequent changes in different locations. 

WE CANNOT GUARANTEE THAT YOUR TEST RESULT WILL ARRIVE IN THE TIME FRAME REQUIRED OR THAT IT WILL BE ACCEPTED BY YOUR TRAVEL DESTINATION.

2.  Schedule Testing

Since testing times can vary, we recommend that you come in to be tested at our facility as early as you can and still be within the designated testing window.  For example, if your flight leaves at 6AM on a Thursday and your test needs to be within 72 hours of departure, you should plan to come in the Monday morning prior when we open at 8AM.

Please note that some locations have alternative options for testing and visiting, but usually, in the absence of a valid, PCR test result, you will be required to quarantine for 10-21 days before you’ll be allowed to move freely. 

3.  Get Your Test Results

To provide proof of your test and negative result, you can pick up a printed report from our office if your test is completed before you depart, although with current turn-around times for testing, it’s unlikely your result will be available before you leave. The best way to get your result once you’ve begun travel is to register for an account on OUR PATIENT PORTAL where you will be notified as soon as your result is complete. From the portal site you will be able to produce the documentation needed to show your negative result.

If you would prefer, you can work directly with LabCorp to perform your own test collection at home without needing a doctor’s order. Please note that without a doctor’s order, your insurance will likely not pay for the testing and you’ll be required to pay LabCorp directly for the test. See the LabCorp website for more information on this option. Since this option puts you in direct contact with LabCorp, Express Lab will not be able to provide any information about the testing procedure, time frame for turn-around or your test results. This information is provided here only to make you aware of another option that may be more convenient for you.

What if I am traveling to Hawaii?

The State of Hawaii has released updated requirements for travelers wanting to visit any of the islands. At this time, there is a very limited number of partners that the state will accept COVID tests from and, unfortunately, Express Lab is not currently on the list. You should review the information provided by the state and ensure that you will be able to enter the state before making plans or getting on a plane. The following link will take you to a travel information website maintained by the State of Hawaii: Getting to Hawaii

AMENDED PRIVACY POLICY

Due to the nature of COVID-19 and the public health emergency which it poses, privacy rights have been amended by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Click here for details.