Over-the-counter testing can now help state track positive cases – Dailyfly.com Lewis-Clark Valley Community
Washington Department of Health
OLYMPIA – As the Delta variant spreads to all parts of Washington, demand for COVID-19 testing is increasing. With this, many people turn to various over-the-counter home tests when they have symptoms or when they need a test for other reasons.
These tests can be convenient and improve access to tests, but it is important to make sure that people are always using the right type of test, taking steps to seek care, and isolating themselves from others if they are positive. , and that positive results are reported to the Crown.
The reports help the Department of Health (DOH) determine how and where the virus is spreading so that resources can be allocated to reduce the spread. Now, it’s easier than ever for people who buy home tests to report their own results. Through a partnership with Washington 211, it is now possible to report a positive test result from a home test through the state’s COVID-19 hotline. The hotline staff will determine the next steps based on the zip code so that the results can be recorded and reported, and can guide callers through any questions they may have.
The state hotline, 1-800-525-0127, is available Monday from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Tuesday through Sunday (and holidays) from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., with language assistance available.
There are many testing options in Washington, and people can always find a testing location on the Department of Health website or in many local state health jurisdictions.
“Testing is a critical tool in understanding the current outbreak and helping slow the spread of the disease,” says Scott Lindquist, MD, MPH, acting state health officer. “It is important for anyone with symptoms or known exposure to COVID-19 to be tested, regardless of their vaccination status. “
The main types of tests for detecting COVID-19 infections are molecular tests, including PCR tests, and antigen tests.
- Molecular tests look for the genetic material of the virus that causes COVID-19; these results may take a little longer, but these are the most accurate tests available.
- Antigen tests look for certain proteins on the surface of the virus; results arrive faster, but are generally less accurate than molecular tests under most circumstances. Over-the-counter tests are usually antigen tests.
Antigen tests are more accurate for people with symptoms, but they can still produce false negative or false positive results. With these tests, if you are symptomatic and test negative, the Washington DOH advises you to take a confirmatory molecular test to be sure. In addition, if you are asymptomatic and test positive for the antigen, it is again advisable to have a confirmatory molecular test.