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COVID-19 test can determine whether an individual is actively infected or has been previously exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19. COVID-19 PCR and COVID-19 antigen tests can indicate if the virus is present in the individual at detectable levels at the time the sample is collected and COVID-19 antibody test can tell if the individual has been previously exposed to the virus
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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Covid-19 symptoms begin to appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus and include:

  • fever above 104oF
  • chills
  • cough
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • fatigue,
  • muscle/body aches
  • headache
  • loss of taste or smell
  • sore throat
  • congestion or runny nose
  • nausea or vomiting
  • diarrhea

Note: This is not a comprehensive list of symptoms and not all individuals will experience symptoms despite being infected with the virus. As many of these symptoms correspond to flu symptoms, testing is the only way to determine if an individual has been infected with a pathogen.

Healthcare professional holding tube test and sampling swab



The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test determines the presence or absence of RNA from SARS COV-2 virus. It detects nucleic acid using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and identifies genetic materials unique to the virus, specifically RNA fragments. The PCR result can only be positive if the virus is present, thus PCR test can identify individuals who have an active SARS-Cov-2 infection. A PCR test can detect the viral RNA present in the body before antibodies are produced or before symptoms of the disease begin to manifest. PCR tests are often preferred because it confirms the presence of viral nucleic acid, rather than the presence of an antibody or an antigen. Other coronaviruses cannot produce a positive result on a PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our Covid-19 test uses Atila BioSystems RT-PCR to accurately diagnose Covid-19 infection in the community hence limiting spread of the disease. A simple swab is all it takes to diagnose an active Covid-19 infection.

Who should get tested?

  • Individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 through living or working near someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.
  • Individuals who have been asked to get tested by their health care provider.
  • People who are experiencing flu-like symptoms and want to rule out Covid-19.
  • Individuals who suspect they may have Covid-19 due to their symptoms.
  • Individuals who are required to show a negative Covid-19 test prior to travel or an elected medical procedure.
  • Individuals who want to have a peace-of-mind or before large family gatherings.

For more information about quarantining due to exposure and illness, visit the CDC website here.

What does a positive PCR test result mean?

A positive PCR test means that you have been infected with the Covid-19 virus. You need to minimize contact with other people and seek medical attention from your healthcare professional.

If you test negative for Covid-19, it means that you probably were not infected at the time the test was carried out or the sample was collected too early in your infection. Note that you can still get infected and fall sick if you get exposed to Covid-19 after the test was carried out. If you develop symptoms after the test, you will need to get tested again to rule out Covid-19.


Woman is getting a nasal swab coronavirus test

Sample Collection at Home

Do you need to collect your sample but are unable make it to the laboratory? No worries! GED offers the option to come and collect your sample at your convenience and at the comfort of your own home. This is a time-saving and hassle-free way to have your sample collected. Most results will be available within 24 hours, perfect for travel.

Schedule your Local Home Collection today by calling 814-262-7331.

A doctor taking a nasal swab from a driver

Sample Collection at the Lab

GED offers the option of visiting the laboratory for sample collection. We provide fast Covid-19 testing in a calm and friendly atmosphere with caring and diligent staff. If you prefer, samples can be collected in your car or in our comfortable conference room. Collecting at the laboratory also gets the sample processed faster and results to you earlier.

Schedule an On-Site Collection with us by calling




What is COVID-19 Antigen testing?

Covid-19 antigen tests is used to detect pieces of viral proteins that make up the SARS CoV-2 virus in order to determine if the individual has an active infection. Also known as rapid Covid-19 antigen testing, this is a diagnostic test performed on a nose swab sample that can confirm if an individual is currently infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19. The USA FDA in August 2020 granted emergency use authorization for Covid-19 antigen tests that can identify SARS-COV-2. Specific proteins, known as antigens, found on the surface of the virus can be detected using the antigen test and this test will also identify individuals who are at the early stage of infection with SARS-COV-2 when the viral load is generally at the highest. Covid-19 antigen tests are less sensitive than the RT-PCR test, implying that there may be false negative results. Our Rapid Antigen Test utilizes Quidel’s QuickVue SARS Antigen Test. The antigen test is less expensive, and results can be obtained in approximately 15 mins. 

What do the test results mean?

– A positive result indicates that the individual does currently have COVID-19 and should take the steps necessary to protect themselves and others. Due to the specificity of the antigen test, false positives are unlikely.

– A negative result indicates that the individual does not currently have COVID-19. Due to the low sensitivity of antigen tests, this may need to be followed up by a PCR test to ensure it is not a false negative. A false negative could be due to a low level of virus antigen in the sample.

– Since positive results are highly accurate, antigen tests are useful to detect high levels of the virus. However, the threshold for how much virus needs to be present to be contagious is still unknown.

– Therefore, if the antigen test gives a negative result because of low levels of viral material was present, there is still a chance that the individual has the virus and is contagious.

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