(Beaver Dam) The Dodge County Public Health Officer recently explained the details of rapid COVID-19 testing. Abby Sauer says while rapid testing does return results quicker than diagnostic tests, there are accuracy issues. She says there are more rapid tests coming out which are administered through a nasal swab or saliva and return a yes or no result within five minutes. She says they can be useful to identify those who may be positive but are not a confirmatory test.
Sauer says rapid tests are about 75-percent accurate, meaning that there is a 25-percent chance that a positive test is actually a false positive. If a person does return a positive result through rapid testing, health officials will administer a diagnostic test to confirm it. Sauer notes any positives from rapid testing do not count towards confirmed coronavirus cases and are listed as “probable.”
Sauer says antibody testing, which looks to see if a person has had a past infection, is not readily available in Dodge County and may not be for some time. She says antibody testing looks more at who already had the virus while they are trying to identify current positives to stop the spread of COVID-19. Sauer says the Red Cross can check for coronavirus antibodies through blood donations and area research clinics offer anti-body testing as well.