Health officials share how free at-home Covid tests will help
At-home Covid testing will soon be more accessible thanks in part to a federal rollout of free tests.
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — At-home Covid testing will soon be more accessible thanks in part to a federal rollout of free tests.
Dr. Sandy Duke, the Chief Clinical Officer with Atrium Health Navicent, says at-home tests are antigen based, which means they’re for testing people who are sick.
“It is not helpful for asymptomatic testing,” he said. “So for instance, if you were to be traveling and you needed a test to clear you before you traveled and you’re not symptomatic, then that would not be a good use of this test.”
Michael Hokanson with North Central Health District says at-home tests are not considered an official diagnosis.
In order to be included in the state’s case count, you have to get a lab confirmed test.
“We do want people to go through the confirmatory process and undergo a PCR test if they do get a positive result on that at home test,” he said.
Dr. Duke says it’s still important to wear a mask, social distance, avoid large crowds and wash hands to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
He hopes at-home tests will keep people who don’t necessarily need to be at the hospital at home.
“To get home tests in the hands of people who might need it hopefully will decompress some of these more acute spaces,” he said. “Which will hopefully allow us to treat sicker patients.”
Hokanson says you should rely on updated quarantine guidelines in case you test positive for Covid through an at-home or PCR test.
“The Georgia Department of Public Health does have a tool that you can input your information,” he said. “And it will give you a recommended time for isolation or quarantine.”