OSDH to include rapid tests in positive coronavirus case count

OSDH to include rapid tests in positive coronavirus case count

LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Oklahoma will include rapid coronavirus tests in positive case counts starting Tuesday.

If a covid case shows up on the state counter, it means confirmation through the PCR, or nasal test.

When the CDC categorized results, they also included probable and confirmed... that changed a few weeks ago.

“Anyone who tests positive on an antigen test, regardless of symptoms they are now a probable case in CDC criteria. We are just bringing any probable, or confirmed through CDC criteria, and calling them all a case,” said Jared Taylor, a state epidemiologist.

Taylor said even though they take less time for results, he doesn’t expect these to replace the normal PCR test.

“You can 60-80 samples in one tray and bang them out quicker, apposed to the antigen which takes one at a time,” said Taylor.

This in conjunction with a plan from the federal government to provide antigen testing stations to every nursing facility in the state.

“We will see a lot of tests a lot of tests because we have increased antigen testing, so we will see more testing. It’s important to report those now just out of full transparency,” said Jackie Shawnee, the OSDH Chief of Communications.

Rapid tests are least 20 percent more likely to give a false negative.

“We have confidence in the antigen and the PCR. We would never want anyone to feel uncomfortable getting a test because of the modality,” said Taylor.

This change happening as the CDC has just given state health departments until October to prepare for a vaccination plan.

“The key will be figuring out as we get them, what are the priority for rolling them out, because there won’t be enough for the population as a whole at first. It will be similar to efforts we did around testing, when they weren’t as prevalent,” said Shawnee.

Fortunately, Shawnee said immunizations are an annual task for them, so there’s already a good head start on the logistical challenges

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