Mon, 25 Jan 2021

How Do Rapid COVID-19 Tests Work and Are They Reliable?

13 Jan 2021, 17:17 GMT+10

You have probably heard quite a lot about rapid COVID-19 testing recently, with some workplaces and schools making use of these tests to monitor the rates of local transmissions. Rapid COVID-19 testing is likely to only become even more widespread in the coming weeks and months, with the first rapid COVID-19 test designed for at-home use approved by the FDA in November.

How Do Rapid Covid-19 Tests Work?

The test works by taking a nasal swab sample, which is applied to a sample card that has been treated with a testing agent. The card reacts to the sample and two lines will appear within fifteen minutes of doing the test if COVID-19 antigens are detected.

How Reliable Are the Tests?

How accurate is rapid COVID-19 testing, and does a negative result mean that you definitely don't have COVID? Bear in mind that if you are asymptomatic, there might not be high enough levels of the virus in your mucus to bring about a positive test result. That's why experts warn against using rapid testing as a pass to attend social events such as parties. Even if your rapid test comes back negative, you should assume that there is always a chance that you might be asymptomatic but infected with the virus, and continue to take precautions and social distance as usual.

Can I Take a Rapid COVID-19 Test at Home?

According to manufacturers, the Lucira COVID-19 All-In-One-Test Kit will be widely available by prescription in early spring. The single-use testing kit is expected to cost around $50 and will take around thirty minutes to complete. According to Lucira, the test has an accuracy rate of between 94-98%. The test works by swabbing your nose before swirling the sample into the provided vial of solution. You then plug the vial into a small, battery-operated device that analyzes the sample and duplicates the genetic material of the virus until it reaches a level that is detectable. A light informs you whether you have tested positive or negative for COVID-19 once the test is complete.

The Benefits of Rapid Testing

The first main benefit of rapid COVID testing Minnesota is that they can be completed much faster compared to the standard tests. In addition, they do not require a sophisticated laboratory to be processed, allowing people to get their results from the comfort of their own homes. Once the home testing kit is made available, this ability may also help to reduce the spread of the virus further by promoting social distancing and reducing the need for people to visit and queue at local test centers. Rapid testing is also a cheaper alternative to standard COVID-19 testing and will make tests more widely available in areas where traditional tests are scarce.

Rapid COVID-19 testing allows you to determine if you are positive or negative for the virus within a matter of minutes. These tests are being increasingly rolled out as an alternative to traditional testing and will soon be available to take at home.

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