As you have likely heard, an event at the White House Rose Garden is suspected of infecting multiple people with COVID-19. Many experts agree that it was likely the cause of the spread and are referring to it as a “super spreader. Putting politics aside, let’s take a look at some of the facts.
The White House has reportedly relied on the Abbott ID Now test in the past which is used to screen visitors and the president on a daily basis. Rapid tests like ID Now are convenient and they can return results in as little as 15 minutes. However, they are not as accurate as the gold-standard PCR tests which require lab processing and return results in 1-2 days.
The FDA advised that anyone testing negative on the ID Now have their results confirmed with a different testing method as they warned in May that the test could return false negative results. Studies have found that the test missed between 1 in 3 and 1 in 7 of positive cases.
Also remember, it takes about 3 to 5 days after infection for someone to make enough “copies” to be picked up by a test. There appears to be a small window, maybe as short as hours, when a person is shedding the virus and infectious but doesn’t yet have enough virus in their body to be detected by a less sensitive rapid test.
If you aren’t sure if you have been exposed, get tested. If the test is a “rapid” test and the results are negative, consider having the PCR test performed just to be safe. Remember, it only takes one person to spread the virus to up to five more people, don’t be that person!
Stay well, stay safe and stay tuned!