MIRAMAR, Fla. – A new COVID-19 testing site in Miramar has been going strong since it opened on Thursday stretching all the way out to Miramar parkway. The site at Vernon E. Hargray Youth Enhancement Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, but the last car is allowed to enter the line at 3:30 p.m., according to organizers.
The site offers both rapid antigen and PCR tests, so it is important to know which one is which.
“The thing with this pandemic from the start is that people can be contagious before they have symptoms,” according to Dr. Nate Hafter, University of Massachusetts’ director of operations for the Center for Clinical and Translational Science.
“Both of these tests are very accurate,” Hafer said, adding that PCR tests are the better option when a person first faces an exposure risk.
#DigitalDeepDive: Today we are breaking down #AntigenTests + #PCRtests with @NateHafer ▶️ who explains why a #PCR may be your best bet early on, when first face #COVID exposure, while an #AntigenTest works when have symptoms—or later in infection, such as after isolation period. pic.twitter.com/u5ffNRgenb— Christina Boomer Vazquez (@CBoomerVazquez) January 5, 2022
“Because the PCR test is amplifying the genetic material, it is usually sensitive enough to detect the virus and the infection early on,” Hafer said.
The at-home rapid antigen tests work well when a person is already showing symptoms and at the end of the infection.
“(When) you are not really contagious anymore, it is going to be negative,” Hafer said.