LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - With different types of COVID-19 testing options available, some can be expensive for those who can’t get to a free testing site, even with medical insurance.
Without medical insurance, the cost is upwards of $200.
The cost of testing depends on the lab the samples are being sent to, and how much an individual’s insurance is going to cover.
Louisiana Region 5 Medical Director Dr. Lacey Cavanaugh said there are two kinds of coronavirus testing, but focused on one of them: PCR tests.
“The PCR test, which is the nasal swab test, is the one that is most commonly being done within the community,” Cavanaugh said. “That test, really it answers the question ‘Could you be capable of infecting other people with COVID?‘.”
Cavanaugh said it typically takes several days for PCR test results to come back and there are some platforms that are able to do a PCR test in a shorter amount of time.
“There are some that can be done in what we call a ‘point of care’ test, like in an urgent care or hospital where you can get the results within 15 minutes.”
Cavanaugh said knowing when to test is key.
“If you have received a test because you were concerned that you could have COVID, you really need to stay home until either the test has either resulted, or until you meet the CDC definition of resolution of COVID,” Cavanaugh said. “You can’t test yourself out of isolation.”
With increased demand for testing in Southwest Louisiana, Cavanaugh hopes testing capacity grows.
“I don’t anticipate the system to change,” Cavanaugh said. “I hope that as we move forward, and the capacity continues to grow that we eventually have even more capacity than we have now.”