What is the difference between an antigen test and PCR or molecular tests?

An antigen test, such as the QuickVue At-Home OTC COVID-19 Test, detects proteins from the virus. Molecular tests detect genetic material from the virus. Antigen tests are very specific for the virus, but not as sensitive as molecular tests. This means that a positive result is highly accurate, but a negative result does not rule out infection. If your test result is negative, you should discuss with your healthcare provider on whether an additional test is necessary and if you should continue isolating at home. There is a higher chance of false negative results with antigen tests than with laboratory-based molecular tests. This means that there is a higher chance this test will give you a negative result when you have COVID-19.