CHICAGO (CBS) – There are options for those looking to get tested for COVID-19 but some may not be good at detecting the Omicron variant.
“It’s another piece of information that you can use to keep you and your family safe.”READ MORE: Chicago Has 'Formally Passed The Omicron Peak' As New COVID-19 Infections Decline, Hospitalizations Level Off, Top Doc Says; Cautious Optimism With Similar Trend Reported Statewide
Dr. Emily Volk is president of the College of American Pathologists. She says the gold standard for COVID testing is the PCR. It looks for the virus’ genetic material and amplifies it so it can be detected in the lab.
“98 to 99 percent accuracy rate with PCR versus somewhere in the 80 to 85 percent for rapid tests using the antigen methodology, some tests actually have worse test performance than that,” Dr. Volk said.
But Dr. Volk says rapid antigen tests have advantages because they can be run in minutes.READ MORE: No Changes To Chicago Travel Advisory; Every State Remains On The List For 3rd Week In A Row
“Those results can help inform your behavior,” she said.
Dr. Anthony Fauci says some preliminary information shows not all of the diagnostic tests will be accurate for the omicron variant.
“But we are hearing, and we are in the process of doing large screening to determine which of these antigen point of care rapid tests still maintain their accuracy of diagnosis,” Dr. Fauci said.MORE NEWS: 15-Year-Old Killed, Five Other Juveniles Wounded In Trio Of Shootings In Chicago On Tuesday
Dr. Volk also recommends if you have been exposed to COVID-19 and take a rapid test that is negative, you should still get a PCR test.