With life resuming, the importance of coronavirus testing is becoming more imperative each day. With multiple tests for the public, which one is right for you? And which one is more accurate? Here in the Southern Tier most of the testing is the traditional PCR testing, consisting of the nasal swab and next day turnaround for the results. But soon rapid antigen based testing could be coming our way. Dr. Elizabeth Plocharczyk breaks down how the two compare locally.
“They’re a little but less sensitive than the PCR tests but in counties or areas that have very low incidence the negative predicted value of the tests is considered excellent. It is considered very high. So the sensitivity of the antigen tests compared to PCR is between eighty and ninety five percent which is pretty good when you have a low incidence,” Dr. Plocharczyk said.
Dr. Plocharczyk went on to say how here in the Southern Tier we also have antibody testing available. She reiterated that while we don’t know what it means quite yet, there is growing confidence it could mean we are better protected from the virus. She said that at the onset of this pandemic the turn around for the testing was upwards of two weeks so it’s great these tests are becoming more readily available.