Rapid TestAntigen-based tests detect specific proteins on the surface of the virus. They're often called rapid tests, as they typically provide results in less than an hour.
PCR TestingNucleic acid-based testing is also called molecular testing, and is often called PCR. Molecular tests detect the virus genetic material (nucleic acids). Public health laboratories in Canada and use nucleic acid-based testing to diagnose COVID-19 infection. This test is the gold standard to diagnose active COVID-19 infection in patients with symptoms.