With current COVID-19 test results taking upwards of 10 days in NYC, getting an answer in less than 15 minutes seems a dream come true.
And that’s just want NYC is experimenting with in a new pilot testing program. According to Gothamist, the city announced the news in a recent press conference, saying they would be centering the new testing efforts in areas identified as COVID-19 hotspots, beginning with Tremont in the Bronx.
Depending on how the pilot goes in Tremont, they may expand it to other parts of the city. The “hotspots” are determined by reviewing city data showing the percentage of positive cases and the number of the people who have been tested.
Apparently, this is the same “rapid test,” called the Abbott test, that the President and White House officials have used. It does not have to be processed in a lab and shows positive results in five minutes and negative results in 13 minutes. The test must be done with a swab to the nasal passages, and needs two samples to properly complete.
Although head of the NYC Public Health Laboratory Dr. Jen Rakeman told Gothamist that this particular test has been shown to sometimes produce false negatives, studies have shown that it is much more accurate when producing positive test results. “It allows us to identify a positive patient right on the spot,” she said, so they can isolate them right away and start the tracing process to determine spread.
Patients in the pilot will receive both the rapid test and the regular lab test just to be safe.
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