Why some healthcare providers don’t test someone for COVID-19

FARGO, ND (Valley News Live) – Several local health facilities are following new guidelines regarding COVID testing.

At-home COVID-19 testing is becoming increasingly available,

Some health experts say it’s not necessary to get tested again at a clinic after getting one at home.

“If you have a positive test at home, you don’t have to repeat that with a medical facility,” said Dr. Doug Griffin, the medical officer at Sanford.

Many health facilities, including Sanford, are no longer offering testing if you have tested positive for COVID at home.

Sanford Health officials say they are already conducting a record number of tests.

“At Sanford, we run about 7,000 tests every day that go to our reference lab. That doesn’t even include the antigen tests that we do quickly in the clinic,” Griffin said.

Griffin also says they have a lot of testing but not enough staff to handle the high demand.

How accurate are home tests?

Griffin says a lot if you’re actually COVID positive.

“98-99% accurate for people with symptoms. These can even be mild symptoms,” he said.

If you don’t have symptoms, that percentage goes down.

There are other complications like user error.

“False positives are very rare, but you’re more likely to have false negatives,” Griffin said.

If you test negative but have symptoms, you could have something else.

Health experts still recommend seeing your GP for a check-up.

Sanford Health officials say they plan to ask if a person has had a positive home rapid test before offering you a PCR test.

Some studies have found that rapid home tests are not quite as accurate as suggested.

It found that antigen testing correctly identified COVID in an average of 72% of people with symptoms, compared to 58% of people without symptoms.

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