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Covid-19 Testing FAQ

Covid-19-Testing-FAQ
Here are answers to some of the most often asked questions about the testing we do

Please contact our clinic at if you have any additional questions.

Please Note

Icon Test Labs is an asymptomatic screening centre and we cannot take appointments from anyone that has symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath. If you need testing for any of these symptoms, call Alberta Health Services at 811.

We cannot guarantee the travel restrictions and test requirements for each country and airline, so please ensure that you have confirmed the test type and time requirements before booking your appointment.

Please visit International Travel Restrictions by Country for the most up-to-date information on travel restrictions to understand what you will require for your travel destination.

Covid-19 Testing FAQ

The short answer is Yes!

The new Omicron variant has caused much concern. We can confidently report that the testing we run using Abbott Laboratories screening platforms detect this variant.

While the Omicron is a variant that contains mutations on the spike protein, both the Abbott rapid and molecular tests do not rely on the gene to do virus detection. Scientists at Abbot Laboratories has completed exhaustive analysis and have concluded that the Omicron variant is detected. 

We offer two different Covid-19 tests that will tell you if you are infected.

the PCR (NAAT) Test for Covid-19
The Rapid Antigen Test for Covid-19

Both employ a cotton swab to collect a sample from your nose or throat.

The NAAT (PCR) test uses the Abbott ID to examine the swab sample specimen and the Rapid Antigen Test uses a self-contained Abbott Panbio kit to determine the results.

Please Note that Icon Test Labs does asymptomatic screening only.

We cannot take appointments from anyone that has symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, tiredness, or shortness of breath. If you need testing for any of the above, call Alberta Health Services at 811.

The Gold Standard PCR (NAAT) testing (short for Nucleic Acid Amplification Test / Polymerase Chain Reaction), was developed over in the late 90's and is one of the most widely used lab tests for detecting viruses and other pathogens such as bacteria, fungi, and parasites that cause many diseases like Ebola, SARS, and now COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2).

To detect the presence of viral coronavirus RNA, a swab of the tip of the nose and/or throat (not deep nose nasopharyngeal) is required. It is the gold standard in coronavirus testing because it is extraordinarily sensitive in finding the virus in a sample – even when levels have decreased below infectious levels.

Any foreign material that triggers an immunological reaction is known as an antigen. Our immune systems are really good at detecting things that shouldn't be there. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, one of which is by generating antibodies that recognise an antigen very specifically. Antibodies do not kill viruses or virus-infected cells, but they do recognise them and flag them for destruction by other immune cells.

Any viral component can be detected with an antigen test. The capsid protein of SARS-CoV-2 is detected by the antigen test. Antibodies are used in the test to specifically bind the SARS-CoV-2 capsid protein, which is attached to the virus.

Antigen tests are divided into three stages:

1. Collecting a sample from the patient using a nose swab is the first step.

2. The sample is then processed with chemicals that reveal the antigens of the virus.

3. Finally, this treated material is placed on a testing strip, which will visually demonstrate the presence of SARS-CoV-2 antigens.

Antigen test results can be obtained in a matter of minutes. Non-professionals can understand the findings of the test because they are visible.

The Abbott ID NOW is a cutting-edge diagnostic device that provides results in minutes.

The Abbott ID NOW COVID-19 assay, which is performed on the Abbott ID NOW instrument, is a rapid molecular in vitro diagnostic test that uses isothermal nucleic acid amplification technology to detect nucleic acid from the SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in direct nasal, nasopharyngeal, or throat swabs. 
Health Canada has approved the Abbott Laboratories ID Now for testing.

The right test for you will be determined by your situation and requirements. Any international flight travel usually necessitates the PCR test, and  employers frequently request the Antigen test but some job sites require the NAAT (PCR) test.

Any international flight travel usually necessitates the PCR test, and  employers frequently request the Rapid Antigen test but some job sites require the NAAT (PCR) test. 

Before booking any test, check with your airline, workplace, or event to see what requirements they have.

For Travel, refer to the International Travel Restrictions by Country website. The following link contains country-specific entry requirements such as border status, COVID-19 testing requirements, and quarantine requirements.

International Travel Restrictions by Country

Please Note

Icon Test Labs is an asymptomatic screening centre and we cannot take appointments from anyone that has symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath. If you need testing for any of these symptoms, call Alberta Health Services at 811.

Also, note that we cannot guarantee the travel restrictions and test requirements for each country and airline, so please ensure that you have confirmed the test type and time requirements before booking your appointment.