RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Different groups are teaming up to provide more ways for people to get tested for COVID-19.
Dr. Christopher Chao said it’s a busy start to the New Year at WakeMed.
“Unfortunately, the predictions we made earlier this year about the winter being bad for COVID is coming true,” said Dr. Chao, urgent care physician.
They’re seeing more COVID-19 tests returning positive.
People can not only go to the various testing sites across the county, but they can also order tests to their homes.
“In theory, you have less room for error if a trained healthcare professional is administrating the test versus someone who is administrating the test at home,” said Chao.
The company GoPuff is the first to offer instant delivery of at-home COVID-19 test kits in the U.S.
Along with grocery and household items, you can now order a COVID-19 test to arrive within an hour.
It’s saliva-based, rather than a nasal swab.
“The science behind the test is the same,” said Chao.
He said the numbers show when done right, these tests are 96 to 97 percent accurate. The tests have been approved for emergency use by the FDA, but have not yet been approved by the FDA through the agency’s regular standard.
“We don’t actually know how good that number is because we haven’t basically put it up against the test of time.”
Home tests allow people to remain isolated and do the test in privacy.
However, they’re often at least $100 and still need to be brought to the post office. Results then come back in 24 to 72 hours.
Health professionals said at the end of the day, the more tests, the better.
“I’m a big proponent in testing, testing as often as you can and as much as you can, I think that’s one of our ways out of this challenge we’ve had,” said Tom Denny, professor of medicine and chief operating officer of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute.
Doctors said what’s most important is getting tested at the right time, which is five to seven days after exposure if you have no symptoms.
If done too early, you can get a false negative.
If you do have symptoms, get tested and isolate.
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