Why you Should Still Test for COVID-19

Now that we're in respiratory virus season, a physician explains why it's important to still test for COVID-19.

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CLEVELAND – Even though cases of COVID-19 have declined considerably since the start of the pandemic, it’s still important to get tested for the virus.  
 
Daniel Rhoads, MD, microbiologist with Cleveland Clinic explains why.

“Right now, we’re seeing RSV and influenzas emerging, and COVID-19 is still around,” said Dr. Rhoads. “So, it’s important when detecting one of these viruses, it can impact patient care or decision making, that we test for them so we can figure out what virus is causing disease.”  
 
Dr. Rhoads said when it comes to testing, lab tests for COVID-19 are going to be the most reliable but notes the results can take longer. 

However, if you’re looking for something more affordable or convenient, he suggests buying an over-the-counter antigen test. 

And if you already have some at-home tests sitting around, don’t forget to check the expiration date. 

The test won’t be as accurate if you try to use it after it’s expired. 

Dr. Rhoads said in some cases, the test could give you a false-negative. 
 
“Now, if an expired test yields a positive result, it’s likely that it’s a true positive result. There’s no scientific reason why an expired test would falsely yield a positive result,” he said.
 
Even though there are different strains of COVID-19 circulating, Dr. Rhoads said the tests available are still able to detect them all. 

 

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