Published November 12, 2021 by Ichor Blood Services
The Difference Between COVID Antigen Testing And COVID PCR Testing

Travelling, working, and eating out during COVID are not as easy as they once were. With the ever changing rules and regulations it can be confusing to figure out what type of COVID-19 testing is to be used and when. This article will focus on the difference between COVID Antigen and COVID Active PCR testing to help you determine which test would be used under what circumstances and where to have testing done. Make sure that you don’t miss any opportunities to get back to life by accessing the correct test. Stay healthy and safe, and read along to learn more.

COVID Antigen VS COVID PCR Testing: What You Need to Know

Maybe you want to book a flight, or perhaps you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. With the ever changing guidelines, it’s important to know the difference between the types of test available and when you would use each of them. Here are the details for COVID testing in Alberta:

COVID Active PCR Testing

  • This test can be used for people with and without symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Active PCR Testing is very accurate.
  • PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction which is used to detect the presence of the COVID-19 virus in the body.
  • Active PCR tests can take longer to obtain results, but there is the option of same day results in Calgary, or 24-48 hours in Edmonton.
  • This test is a great option if you are feeling unwell, or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive. Getting a negative PCR test will allow you to resume normal activities quickly.

COVID Rapid Antigen Testing

  • This test can be used for people with and without symptoms of COVID-19.
  • A rapid antigen test examines proteins specific to COVID.
  • These tests are very fast- with results as quick as 15 minutes.
  • Rapid antigen tests are not as accurate as PCR tests and can sometimes give false results.
  • COVID-19 rapid antigen tests are accepted for traveling to the US.
  • This type of test is a great option for employers looking to keep their employees safe by helping stop the spread of coronavirus in the workplace.

COVID Testing in Calgary and Edmonton

If you have questions about which type of test you need, and why. Ichor Blood Services will be there for you. We offer a variety of COVID Testing and have successfully helped thousands of Canadians navigate the ever-changing pandemic response throughout Calgary, Edmonton, Medicine Hat, Red Deer, Fort McMurray, Fredericton and Toronto. If you need COVID-19 testing contact our team by calling 1-844-424-6728 or by filling out the form on this website. Stay safe!


Q: Where can I get COVID Testing in Calgary and Edmonton?
A: If you need a rapid antigen test, or a PCR test in Calgary and Edmonton then Ichor Blood Services has you covered. Offering options for testing in-clinic or at home, we provide accurate and fast results with COVID-19 screening.

Q: What type of COVID test do I need for travel?
A: Currently, the rapid antigen test is being accepted for travel to the US and the active PCR test is good for those who are not fully vaccinated for travel within Canada by air or rail. Please check the local health authority and your travel provider for the most up-to-date information.

Q: Does the COVID rapid antigen test detect spikes from the vaccination?
A: No it does not. This type of test is designed to detect antibodies from the infection. If you have questions about COVID testing in Calgary and Edmonton please choose the city nearest you to learn more.

Contact Us

Contact Us for Private Blood Testing, Physician Requested General Blood Work, Corporate Group Testing for COVID-19 Antibody or COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Testing, and more!

TopPrivate Blood TestingContact UsTests and Pricing
TopPrivate Blood TestingContact UsTests and Pricing