LUBBOCK, Texas — As many in the Hub City consider rapid testing, Lubbock health experts talk about ways people can increase their chances of getting more accurate results.
The rapid test, also known as an antigen test, can detect if someone has COVID-19 in a matter of minutes. It involves a swab that is pushed up the nose to collect material.
“There are a lot of rapid testing locations here in Lubbock most of them are in provider’s office, said Katherine Wells, Director of Public Health at the Lubbock Health Department, so [for example], UMC, Covenant.”
Wells said since an appointment is needed for most of the testing, people might not get scheduled right away, suggesting it could be faster to get a normal test.
Dr. Jacob Nichols, assistant professor of infectious diseases at Texas Tech Physicians, said two things make people candidates for the rapid testing.
- People who show symptoms of COVID-19
- People who have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 for an extended period without a mask
Nichols said people should wait at least five days after being exposed to get tested.
“[If] they say it’s negative,” said Nichols, “That does not mean that you may not go on to develop an infection. It means that point in time that you are negative.”
Nichols suggests proceeding with caution after testing negative. He said those testing positive should isolate to a total of 14 days and continue to monitor for symptoms.