COVID-19 Antigen Test vs. Antibody Test – What’s the Difference?

 In Blog, COVID Rapid Testing

You believe you may have come in contact with someone who recently tested positive for COVID-19. Where do you go, what do you do? How do you get tested? 88MED is utilizing rapid antigen tests and rapid IgM/IgG (antibody) tests to provide you a test – and peace of mind – in as soon as 20 minutes.

COVID-19 Antigen Test vs. Antibody Test – What’s the Difference?

Rapid Antigen Testing

Rapid antigen tests are recommended for individuals with signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19. They are also recommended for individuals who are asymptomatic but have recently been exposed or suspected they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

When should I get the Antigen test?

Rapid antigen tests perform best when the person is tested in the early stages of infection with SARS-CoV-2 when viral load is generally highest.

How does the Antigen test work?

The antigen tests are designed to detect proteins from the virus that causes COVID-19 in respiratory specimens. This requires conducting a nasal or nasopharyngeal swab.

Rapid IgM/IgG Antibody Testing

Rapid IgM/IgG test is an antibody test, which will help identify if an individual has antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19. This testing is best for individuals with a previous infection due to your body’s ability to create antibodies one to three weeks after infection. *If you are currently showing symptoms of COVID-19, the antigen test is recommended.

When should I get the IgM/IgG Antibody test?

IgM antibodies can develop as soon as 48 hours after exposure, indicating recent infection.

How does the Rapid IgM/IgG test work?

The rapid IgM/IgG tests take a sample of your blood via finger prick to collect a sample for testing. If you test positive from the antibody test, this shows that you may have previously had COVID-19 or you have the antibodies from an infection with a different virus from the same family of coronaviruses. If you test negative, you may not have had COVID-19 or you may have a current infection that hasn’t had enough time for your body to mount an antibody response. For further questions, you should speak with your doctor.

Payment Options

At 88MED, we offer both antigen and antibody testing and can provide results in as soon as 20 minutes. Simply book online in advance and select one of two payment options: out of pocket at $109 for each test or direct billing to insurance with no out of pocket cost.


The Omaha community can now receive COVID-19 Rapid Testing at 88MED. For your convenience, we’re extending our hours of operation for the COVID-19 Rapid testing. You can book an online appointment time between 8 am-8 pm, seven days a week. Click here for more information.

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