Monday, March 4, 2024

COVID-19 Rapid Test May Not Always Provide Accurate Result

Abbott’s BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card Home Test (Courtesy of Abbott)

STATEWIDE — COVID-19 testing kits have seen a rise in demand over the last couple of weeks.

According to WYDaily’s analysis of the most recent Virginia Department of Health (VDH) data published in WYDaily’s COVID-19 tracker, “Since Monday, Jan. 10, James City County has seen a 2,440 increase in cases, City of Williamsburg has seen 69, and York County has seen 1,285. However, there has not been an increase in COVID-19-related deaths since Jan. 10.”

This increase in COVID-19 cases within the Historic Triangle may have to do with the spread of the Omicron Variant within the Commonwealth of Virginia, and, as a result, the increased use of rapid testing kits.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 tests can detect either SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, or antibodies that your body makes after getting COVID-19 or after getting vaccinated.

There are two types of COVID-19 tests: Viral Tests and Antibody Tests.

The Antibody Tests, also known as serology tests, can detect antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in your blood. These antibodies are proteins that the immune system makes to help fight infection and they help protect you from getting sick in the future.

The viral tests indicates that you are infected with SARS-CoV-2. This is the category of tests that rapid tests, like the Abbott BinaxNow testing kit, falls under.

“Self-tests” are rapid tests that can be taken at home or pretty much anywhere. They are made to be easy to use, and created to provide individuals rapid COVID-19 test results.

These are the kinds of testing kits that are offered by York County Public Library, Williamsburg Regional Library, Gloucester County Public Library and other participating locations in VDH’s STACC program.

VDH recommends that if you test positive using an at-home test, you should immediately isolate yourself. Both the CDC and VDH recommend that you isolate at home for at least 5 days.

According to the VDH’s COVID-19 General FAQ section of their website, “Count the day that your symptoms began as Day 0; if you did not develop symptoms, count the day that you were tested as Day 0.”

One of the most widely used rapid testing kits are Abbot’s BinaxNow testing kits.

While these testing kits have proven to be helpful, there is still a possibility of testing false-negative as well as false-positive.

At-risk individuals who are showing symptoms but test negative are recommended to test again to further confirm the individuals results.

According to the CDC, “A negative-test result means that the test did not detect the virus and you may not have an infection, but it does not rule out infection. Repeating the test within a few days, with at least 24 hours between tests, will increase the confidence that you are not infected.”

More information on self-testing can be found on the CDC’s website.

For more resources regarding COVID-19, vaccinations, and tests, please consult the links below:

  • To learn more or to schedule an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, contact your healthcare provider or visit the website for Vaccinate Virginia.
  • For more information regarding current vaccinations for COVID-19, visit the website for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • To find the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), click here.
  • To see the current COVID-19 map courtesy of Johns Hopkins University & Medicine, click here.

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