SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – COVID-19 hospitalizations are steadily rising in Massachusetts, as a new variant leads to an increase in cases nationwide.

But with PCR testing sites now closed what options do people have when it comes to getting tested? Doctors advise you to get test tested if you have COVID symptoms or have been around someone with COVID, but free COVID tests are not as available as they used to be.

As COVID cases continue to ramp up concerns of how accurate rapid tests are is also on the rise.
Tania Barber, President and CEO of Caring Health Center in Springfield says both the antigen tests and molecular Covid tests are both accurate and can detect the virus.

“The at-home tests, they are pretty reliable. They have been reliable and the government of course is offering free at-home testing kits so all you do is go online and apply. Go onto the government website and apply and find the free testing kits.”

According to the FDA, at-home Covid antigen tests are expected to detect the SARS Covid Virus 80 percent of the time when someone is infected. When you do an at-home COVID-19 antigen test, and you get a positive result, the administration says the results are usually accurate. But there is still a chance you could get a false negative result.

The other option is the Molecular COVID test. It is expected to detect the virus about 95 percent of the time that someone is infected.

Caring Health Center, as always as we have done in the past, we are also offering to those in the community who are seeking to be tested and to receive vaccinations.”

While the latest Covid variants Pirola and Eris run their course, health officials are still advising people, especially those at high risk, to take safety precautions. That includes avoiding crowds, social distancing, and wearing a mask.

Local News

Kiara Smith is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since March 2023. Follow Kiara on X @KiaraBSmith1 and view her bio to see more of her work.