CDC Releases Guidance on Antigen Testing 

CDC Releases Guidance on Antigen Testing 

CDC released new guidance on antigen testing this week. This guidance applies broadly to any provider using rapid antigen testing. We expect guidance specific to nursing homes and long-term care facilities will follow in the coming days. This new guidance acknowledges that rapid antigen testing is not as accurate as PCR testing, but asserts that the testing is useful and proper interpretation of results is critical. As we were informed previously, antigen tests are most helpful when viral load is highest, generally within the first five days of infection. CDC asserts that antigen tests are useful in cases of known exposure or high risk congregate settings when repeat testing can help to quickly identify infections and inform infection control procedures. Related to the question of testing asymptomatic individuals, they concede that there is limited data to guide the use of these tests with asymptomatic individuals for purposes of detecting or excluding infection. Regarding false negatives, clinical presentation and community prevalence of infection will guide interpretation of antigen test results and help to determine the need for follow up with PCR testing.




Alyssa Odegaard- Vice President, Public Policy 

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