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An expert explains the differences between COVID-19 tests as hundreds of people get tested

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 5:53 PM EST
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - Cars were bumper to bumper as an influx of people have been getting tested due to the recent spike of COVID-19. The First Baptist Church of Ocala’s testing site added eight people to meet the demand.

Kayla Hall the marketing director of Genesis Reference Labs said a lot more people are getting tested.

“We were doing about 40 to 50 tests a day now we’re doing 450 to 500 plus tests a day.” Most people were in line for the free three-day PCR test and only a small amount of people paid money to get the rapid or same-day test.

Sally Decker said First Baptist was the only testing site she went to and she waited in line for more than an hour for her PCR test.

“My husband’s in the hospital and he tested positive this morning in the hospital. So I called my daughter she said First Baptist is doing it and here I am.”

But a lot of people are confused why they are testing positive on some tests like the at-home testing kit or PCR test compared to the rapid antigen test or vice versa.

Hall explains why the PCR test may be more accurate than the rapid test.

“You might start experiencing some slight symptoms but maybe you didn’t test positive, retest and now you are positive. By going ahead and getting the PCR they’re much more sensitive than a rapid test antigen. Their detection levels are sufficiently lower so they’re able to pick it up sooner.”

Hall added the rapid antigen tests are good if you want to know right now if you’re positive or not. But it’s a good idea to take the free three-day PCR test to let you know if you test positive days later.

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