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5 Reasons the COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test for Omicron Is Important

Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Test Kit

Employers have been under extreme pressure to provide safe working conditions for their employees during the pandemic. Now that cases are increasing again, the sense of urgency to protect workplaces has intensified.

The emergence of the Omicron Covid variant threatens to make matters even worse. Providing personal protective equipment (PPE) and practicing social distancing policies are effective in slowing the spread of Covid-19.

However, the best way to protect employees in the workplace is to offer a  Covid-19 rapid antigen test.

Testing for Covid has never been an easy or efficient process, despite massive efforts by the FDA to make COVID tests accessible. This newly approved method of getting a Covid test could be a game-changer for worker safety.

Here’s what you need to know about how the rapid antigen test works and how it plays a vital role in detecting the Omicron variant.

Types of Available Covid-19 Test Options

Diagnostic testing has been an important pillar in the United States’ response to Covid-19. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has made significant efforts to make testing products available to the public.

For the majority of the pandemic, there have been two types of Covid tests available. These include PCR tests and antibody tests. Recently, the FDA authorized the third type of test: the antigen test.

PCR Test

The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is a molecular diagnostic testing technique. It detects genetic material from the Covid-19 virus. It is very precise when it comes to diagnosing an active Covid-19 infection.

Because the PCR test can detect small amounts of viral genetic material, it is possible for a person to get a positive test result for Covid-19 long after they are no longer infectious.

Antibody Test

The antibody test is a serological test. It looks for antibodies to Covid-19. This test is an effective way to identify those who have an adaptive immune response to the virus.

Antibody tests detect your immune system’s response to the virus. Therefore, they are effective at diagnosing a prior infection. However, they are not effective during the earliest phase of an active infection.

Rapid Antigen Test

The antigen test is a new type of diagnostic test. It was approved by the FDA for emergency use and is designed for rapid detection of the virus.

Rapid antigen tests quickly detect small fragments of viral proteins (antigens) found in the Covid-19 virus. They are very effective at detecting the presence of the virus in a person during their peak level of infection and contagiousness.

5 Reasons To Get a Rapid Antigen Test to Detect Omicron Covid Variant

The rapid antigen test offers several advantages over the other Covid-19 diagnostic testing options. Many experts feel the rapid antigen test could be a game-changer in the fight against Covid-19.

Here are the top five reasons to implement the rapid antigen test in your workplace.

1. Speed

One of the most significant advantages of the Covid-19 rapid antigen test is its quick turnaround time. While other types of diagnostic tests take days to produce results, results from the rapid antigen test take just 15 minutes.

Rapid testing makes it possible to test at the moment. With the rapid test, you can quickly and easily detect the virus in a person before they enter a public space or event. 

2. Accuracy of Positive Tests

Every type of diagnostic test plays an important role in preventing the spread of Covid-19. The PCR test is very accurate, but the results take time.

Antigen tests are the most effective at accurately detecting the presence of Covid at the height of infection. This means there is a very, very low chance of getting a false positive from an antigen test.

Antigen tests are more specific but not as sensitive as PCR tests. This means antigen tests are extremely accurate when it comes to positive test results.

But, it also means antigen tests are less accurate when it comes to negative results in the event that the prevalence of infection is low. This means, if you are in a community where there is a lot of infection, the antigen test is more accurate.

If you are in a community where the presence of the virus is low, the antigen test is not as accurate, but only for false negatives. You will not get a false-positive result from an antigen test.

Keep in mind that it is possible to get a false negative on any type of diagnostic test when your chance of infection or exposure to Covid is low.

Still, if you get a negative test result from an antigen test, it is in the best interest of your community that you get a PCR test to confirm your results.

3. Lower Cost

In general, it is possible to produce antigen tests for Covid-19 at a lower cost than other types of diagnostic tests. 

Once more manufacturers enter the market, it may be possible to distribute the rapid tests to millions of Americans every day. This will significantly help businesses slow the spread of Covid and improve their rate of detection.

4. Easy to Interpret

Rapid antigen tests are easy for the average person to interpret. They do not require a medical testing facility or a medical professional to explain the results.

Here is what you need to know about how to interpret a positive result from a Covid-19 rapid antigen test.

Positive Result With Symptoms Present

This result means there is a current infection. In this case, the person should isolate at home for at least ten days once their symptoms start. Once all symptoms have subsided, they should isolate for an additional 24 hours.

Positive Result Asymptomatic With Confirmed Exposure To Covid-19

This result means there is a current infection. This person should also isolate for at least ten days.

Positive Result Asymptomatic With No Known Covid Exposure

This result presumes there is a current infection. This person should isolate at home immediately and confirm their test result with a PCR test.

5. More Comfortable and Convenient

Rapid antigen tests are more comfortable because they only require a shallow nasal swab. Whereas the PCR test requires swabbing the nasopharynx, the antigen test just requires a nostril swab.

Rapid antigen tests are also more convenient because they do not require traveling to a testing site. Nor do they require a laboratory to produce results.

The general public can perform rapid antigen tests on themselves, at home, at work, and at any other public or private location.

Get Your Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Test Kit

Cases of Covid-19 are increasing across the country. The addition of the Omicron variant has put added pressure on employers to keep their employees and workplaces safe.

The best way to protect employees against infection and spread of the virus is to provide the Covid-19 rapid antigen test. It is the fastest and most convenient testing option with the lowest cost.

Contact today to get the PPE and rapid antigen testing kits you need to protect your workplace from Covid-19.