Positive or negative: What you need to know about COVID-19 testing

Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 11:01 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2022 at 8:24 AM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Some people have been getting conflicting COVID-19 test results, so we reached out to a Jonesboro doctor to make sure people have the information for accurate test results.

There is very little difference between the antigen at-home tests you can get at your local pharmacy and the rapid tests that are administered at a doctor’s office.

The PCR tests use different technology than the rapid. This could leave you waiting for days when PCR tests get sent off to a lab.

“A rapid antigen test from a pharmacy or doctor’s office is something you get that day, and it’s usually the same type of technology,” said Dr. Dylan Dulaney, director clinical pharmacy at Woodsprings Pharmacy. “It’s looking for viral antigens, which is very indicative of when you are contagious.”

Some tests have 5 or more steps that can get overwhelming. Most tests have a QR code on the back that you can scan, and it will take you to video instructions on how to properly take the test and read the results.

“The biggest and most important thing is the technique and doing the proper procedures and the correct in the proper sequence to get the best results,” he said.

You may have noticed other people filling in for our 10 p.m. anchor Chris Carter. He tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday evening.

I talked with him on Zoom about his experience with COVID so far.

“After I started to feel the body aches, I noticed that I probably had a fever, and then I took my temperature, and then I came home and immediately took an at-home test,” said Carter. “Last night was definitely the worst.”

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine helps keep your chances of hospitalization and death to a minimum. It can even minimize the severe symptoms of the virus.

“I am vaccinated and boosted,”said Carter. “So, if this is what it’s like to be vaccinated and boosted, I don’t want to know what it’s like not to be.”

With school starting soon, pharmacists recommend buying a few at-home tests. That way, when most pharmacies aren’t open on the weekends or evenings, you will still have access to a test.

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