As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact people across the globe, many companies are looking for a fast and easy way to know that their employees are virus free. For many, taking a rapid COVID test seems to be the answer for a convenient way to verify if they are negative or positive. But are these tests accurate?
Types of COVID-19 Tests
The two most common tests to identify if an individual has SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, are a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and an antigen test.
A PCR test detects COVID-19 through the genetic material of the coronavirus. An antigen test diagnoses COVID-19 by searching for specific molecules on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Most rapid tests take the form of antigen tests and provide results in as little as 15 minutes.
A rapid antigen test is ideal for detecting COVID-19 early in the course of the disease if you are showing symptoms. If you were exposed to COVID-19 and are experiencing symptoms, a rapid test will allow you to confirm if you are positive quickly.
How Common Are False Positives for COVID-19 Tests?
Rapid tests are not as accurate as PCR tests, but they still play a vital role in diagnosing COVID-19 cases. Like other antigen tests, most rapid COVID-19 tests have a higher false positive COVID-19 test rate. However, while the chance of a false positive is higher, rapid tests still give correct results in 99.6% of individuals.
A false positive is when you receive a positive result despite not having COVID-19. To confirm the test result, it is a good idea to follow up the rapid test with a PCR test. An inaccurate result can be due to many factors, such as administering the rapid test incorrectly according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Purchase COVID-19 Tests From SUNLINE Supply
At-home COVID-19 antigen tests are easy to use and provide quick results. Regular testing is the key to reducing the spread of COVID-19 in schools, hospitals and workplaces. Fortunately, retailers such as SUNLINE Supply carry reliable COVID-19 antigen and antibody testing kits in bulk so you can help keep your staff, students or patients safe.
To learn more about our COVID-19 testing kits or to place an order, complete our contact form!