Rapid testing remains a reliable option, according to NDDoH

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 5:36 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - With more and more businesses implementing COVID-19 vaccine and testing guidelines, rapid testing creates a quick and easy option to get results. But just how accurate are they?

North Dakota Department of Health officials said rapid tests are a reliable option, but there are some drawbacks.

It has a lower sensitivity rate than a PCR test, meaning the person being tested must have a high viral load to test positive.

Still, officials said the chances of receiving a false positive are low, with only about one percent of BinaxNow rapid tests detecting viruses other than the one that causes COVID-19.

“All of our data is showing that a positive Binax test is almost always going to be a positive PCR. It’s that less than one percent that we’re seeing here and also the FDA and the distributor are seeing, less than one percent is a false positive,” said Nicole Brunelle, chief nursing officer with the North Dakota Department of Health.

Businesses can arrange regular rapid tests for their employees if needed, administered by the health department.

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