Home Social gathering Rapid at-home COVID-19 antigen test gains popularity ahead of the holidays – CBS Boston

Rapid at-home COVID-19 antigen test gains popularity ahead of the holidays – CBS Boston


BOSTON (CBS) – Political leaders like Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and President Joe Biden have urged Americans to take advantage of rapid home COVID-19 antigen testing as an additional way to stay safe while on vacation.

The tests give you immediate results at home and cost around $ 20 for a pack of two at any local drugstore.

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CVS Pharmacies told WBZ in a statement, “We are well positioned and ready to meet the testing needs of our customers as we enter the holiday season, particularly with [over the counter] COVID-19 tests. “

When a WBZ team checked out four local pharmacies overnight – two CVS stores and two Walgreens – the shelves were empty and stores were running out of home tests.

Doctors say these tests are a great resource for testing yourself and your family members just to make sure you don’t have COVID-19, to avoid bringing it home before a meeting. family.

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“Because during the first 2-3 days of having COVID-19, people are not symptomatic, but they are very contagious,†explained Dr. Mark Siedner of Mass General. “The tests allow us to find these people before they are symptomatic but contagious, isolate them and protect everyone. “

However, these home tests are not as accurate as the PCR tests you receive at local testing sites. “For every hundred people a PCR test detects, these rapid tests will detect 70 or 80,” explained Dr Siedner. “Most importantly, these rapid tests are good when people have a lot of viruses. So the more viruses there are, the better the test will be. “

Andrea Spano of North Reading experienced the unpredictability of rapid home testing. She is now quarantined with COVID-19 after a positive PCR, but when she first developed minor gastrointestinal symptoms, she had 2 rapid home tests per day apart just to be on the safe side. . “It was a false sense of security,†she told WBZ. “I was really upset because first of all I would have been tested much earlier, and I really wasn’t in quarantine until I got the results of emergency care just because I was felt very confident that I didn’t have COVID. “Spano says she hopes her situation warns others to go get tested even if you have mild symptoms.

Rapid home tests “aren’t perfect, which means if you have symptoms that you suspect may be COVID-19 and a rapid test comes back negative, don’t be too reassured, always try to proceed to others. tests, maybe PCR, “explained Dr Paul Sax, infectious disease expert at Brigham and Women’s.” But if you’re just getting tested before heading to a friend’s house for dinner or meeting with a group of people, absolutely use the quick test. ”

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This is the most recommended use by doctors: just for anyone who is not sick before a social gathering, to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19. Of course, the experts also say that the testing option is a second layer of security – the first being to get everyone you meet with vaccines and boosters.
There is one concern about the growing popularity of home testing: state data. With a home test, people are not required to report when they test positive for COVID-19, so the condition’s infection data may be incomplete.