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Health experts explain importance of getting tested for COVID-19

With a shortage of COVID tests, is it necessary to test for the virus if you think you have it? Health experts say, yes.
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 11:06 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - With the closing of the Wichita State University Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory, you may be looking for an at-home test to find out if you’re positive for COVID-19. However, if you’re already feeling symptoms do you even need to get a test?

The short answer is yes.

“I think you should get tested if you test positive even on the home test it’s pretty accurate,” said Sedgwick County Health Officer Dr. Garold Minns.

Minns says testing is a way to know for sure if you are positive for COVID-19 and need to quarantine.

However, he recommends getting an in-person PRC test because they’re more accurate.

“It can take longer to get back it’ll take you at least 24 hours to get in but in that sense it’s more accurate than the home test”

A CDC study shows some at-home rapid antigen tests have 85% accuracy. This means that they catch roughly 85% of people who are infected with the virus and miss the other 15%. Whereas, PCR tests correctly diagnose COVID-19 in 97.2% of cases.

Dr. Gerold Minns says, even though testing is getting more difficult to find, you should still find a way to get it done.

“If you are having symptoms and an at-home test shows negative it may be false. If you have symptoms and feel sick and the test comes back negative, that’s not completely accurate,” he said.

Dr. Minns said the health department is working on opening another clinic in the area that will provide PCR testing.

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