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Health leaders in rural Kentucky stay cautious with rapid testing

Published: Oct. 9, 2020 at 11:52 AM EDT
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KENTUCKY (WKYT) - Rapid COVID-19 tests produce fast results, however, some parts of the state don’t have access to the tests as easy as big cities.

If you felt like you had COVID-19 symptoms, waiting around for results after being tested may not be easy. But health leaders say those rapid tests are not all they are hyped up to be.

In rural Kentucky, rapid tests are around but generally in a doctor’s office setting, hospitals, or health departments. Not like a drive setting like in Lexington and larger cities.

This means the majority of people will go through the general test and wait two to three days for the results. Usually in that time not knowing if they should go on with daily life or quarantine in the meantime.

Dr. Crystal Miller, the public health director of WEDCO, says she understands the frustrations on not getting your hands on a faster test but she believes the normal test is more accurate.

The rapid test should not be used for go-to results all the time.

“We have not got into the PCR testing or rapid testing because of the high false-negative rate," Miller said. "There are times when that is appropriate, if someone is experiencing symptoms or someone feels like they have been exposed then a rapid would be beneficial but the nasal swap is definitely more accurate than the rapid test.”

Earlier this month, we told you about federal officials shipping millions of rapid tests to states in order for schools to have the service. They hope this also helps to expand testing as the flu season is right around the corner.

The governor spoke Thursday about the tests and rural Kentucky. He says the state is beginning to mobilize more testing capabilities in rural Kentucky areas.

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