How long does a COVID-19 at-home test last? – The Cincinnati Enquirer

by | Jul 24, 2022 | COVID-19

COVID-19 has crept back into southwest Ohio and northern Kentucky as two omicron subvariants have become the predominant strain of infection locally. But if you’re looking to shake the dust off of your at-home rapid antigen tests to use before a late-summer vacation or a visit to grandma, there are some factors to consider. The first is effectiveness. Though studies regarding the accuracy of at-home tests were performed specifically on previous variants, experts say the sensitivity on the tests should be enough to pick up on BA.4 and BA.5, two highly infectious omicron subvariants currently spreading throughout Ohio and the Cincinnati region. A study of the effectiveness of BinaxNow, a commonly used at-home rapid antigen test, found that the BinaxNow test accurately registered a positive result in 95% of samples that were also found positive by a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. “What we don’t know is, is this as good with the BA.4, BA.5 omicron as with BA.1 and BA.2?” said Dr. Stephen Feagins, chief clinical officer of Mercy Health Cincinnati. “This is just the best that we know. We think even with BA.4, BA.5, that 95% is probably somewhere similar.” BA.5 variant:Now almost half, if not more, of new COVID-19 cases in OhioCOVID-19 in Cincinnati:CDC flashes a caution sign about rising levels in area countiesNose or throat swabs?:Advice from doctors so you don’t waste that COVID-19 testing kitThe tests, if used within proper expiration dates, will provide accurate results regardless of variant, said Amanda Carter, a spokeswoman for Hamilton County Public Health The department recommends continuing to utilize the tests for a number of situations you might find yourself in as cases and hospitalizations rise. “Any time you can take an additional step to mitigate the spread, whether it’s taking a proactive test before you see someone who’s high risk, whether you’re coming from a county that has high community spread, we …

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