Testing for Active and Past Infection with SARS-CoV-2 at West Chemist

During the recent Covid-19 pandemic, the need for accurate COVID-19 testing that is easily accessible to everyone has been one of the most important priorities in the effort to control the spread of Covid-19.

It is equally important to test for active cases of Covid-19 as well as past cases of infection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (aka Covid-19) so we have a clearer idea of who is now immune to Covid-19.

Tests for Covid-19 can be divided into antigen or antibody tests, both of which use different kinds of samples to search for different hallmarks of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Antigen tests (like the PCR test and Rapid Antigen Test) determine whether a person has an active case of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Whereas an Antibody Test (aka Immune Test) traces antibodies of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in people who have already been infected with Covid-19 in the past and now have immunity to Covid-19.

At West Chemist pharmacy, we provide PCR swab testing service and same-day antigen tests which will give you results in a matter of 15-20 minutes. At our Northampton location, we also offer antibody testing.

What Covid-19 Tests Does West Chemist Offer?


PCR tests (Polymerase Chain Reaction)

These are done with a nose and/or mouth swab test and are sent to a lab for diagnosis to measure antigens. Results are the most accurate with this test, but it can take 2-3 days to get results.

Lateral Flow Tests (LFT)

The Rapid Antigen Test can diagnose Covid-19 on the spot but aren’t as accurate as PCR tests.


An antibody test can’t diagnose active infection, but they can help to tell if a person has immunity to Covid-19. Antibody tests are done via a blood test, not a nose swab. COVID-19 antibody test results may be ready the same day as your test at some sites. Other places may have to send test samples out to a lab for analysis, so results may not be available for a few days.

For same-day results for Covid testing make an appointment for the Rapid Antigen Test in Northampton on our West Chemist website. We make it easy for you to book appointments online for all our Covid-19 testing options