CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The demand for COVID-19 testing has skyrocketed as cases surge across the country all while people try to celebrate the holidays. At-home tests can be a solution, if you can find one, but how accurate are they?
The most common type of at-home test are the rapid, antigen kits, which are being distributed in bulk by state and local governments right now.
These rapid tests should be used by people experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 who want to verify if they have the virus or not.
Health experts say they are accurate, but have a higher chance of providing a false negative if you are infected, but aren’t showing symptoms. Which means that the test didn’t detect the virus, even though you actually are infected with it.
Baystate Health told 22News there is a 10 to 15 percent chance that a rapid test gives a false negative.
Massachusetts is sending COVID-19 test kits to schools across the commonwealth. The goal is to test teachers and staff before they return from their holiday break.
Every district will receive enough tests to ensure that two tests can be distributed to each staff member – one of which should be taken no more than 24 hours before they return to work. Tests are not required to return to school, but recommended to stop the spread and keep everyone safe.
This past week, the state distributed more than six million K-N-95 masks to schools for employees.