UCHealth: Everything you need to know about rapid, at-home COVID-19 tests!

UCHealth: Everything you need to know about rapid, at-home COVID-19 tests!

The following article is titled “Everything you need to know about rapid, at-home COVID-19 tests: At-home COVID-19 tests, also known as rapid antigen tests, are convenient and accessible. But be careful. The results often are wrong.” The in-depth story was written by Katie Kerwin McCrimmon from UCHealth Today

Go here for more on Covid in San Miguel County.

Go here for more on Covid from the Telluride Med Center.

Millions of Americans are ordering free at-home COVID-19 tests now and these rapid tests soon will be arriving in mailboxes.

Ordering the tests takes less than a minute. You simply click on the turquoise button on the popular new covidtests.gov website. Then you fill in your address and the free at-home COVID-19 tests should arrive within a week or two. For now, each household in the U.S. is entitled to four free at-home COVID-19 tests.

Easy, right?

Well, ordering the tests is quick and easy. But figuring out when and how to use them or how to understand your results is not so simple. That’s because at-home COVID-19 tests — also known as rapid antigen tests — are not as accurate as the much more reliable nasal swab PCR tests. PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction. (Learn more about getting PCR tests. UCHealth does not offer rapid antigen tests since they are much less accurate.)

The appeal of at-home COVID-19 tests is the convenience and accessibility. You can take the test at home (hence the name) and you can get a result within about 15 minutes. But it’s important to be cautious about rapid, at-home test results and how you use them. They might be appropriate to use in some cases. But they are not free passes to prove you don’t have COVID-19.

To help you understand what at-home COVID-19 tests are and how to interpret any results you get, we spoke with Dr. Michelle Barron, senior medical director of infection prevention and control for UCHealth and a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

What is an at-home COVID-19 test?..

Continue reading here to learn about the reliability of at-home tests, how to interpret the results, and more.

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