Those without COVID symptoms should avoid rapid tests

PENDLETON – Umatilla County Public Health Director Joseph Fiumara says that the county has a good supply of COVID-19 tests that are available from health care providers, clinics, hospitals, and some pharmacies. He has a word of warning though. Not all tests are created equal.

“The data has shown that antigen quick tests are not real accurate on folks who don’t have any symptoms,” he said. “We’re not necessarily going to be real confident in the result of that test, versus the traditional PCR test that takes maybe three to five days to get your results.”

The reported rate of false negative results is as high as 50 percent, according to September figures from the Food and Drug Administration. In many instances, negative results on an antigen rapid test are required to be confirmed with a molecular PCR test, which is considered the gold standard.