The current scoop on COVID-19 testing
This is a quickly evolving topic! The following information is current as of 10/1/20:
Who should get tested?
-Any child closely exposed to confirmed positive COVID case
Closely exposed is defined as being within 6 feet of an infected person for more than 15 minutes
-Any child with current or recent ill symptoms (within the last 10 days-even if symptoms are now better)
-Any child who requires testing by the Health Department or other requirement (e.g. before a
Who does not need to get tested?
-Well children without close exposures to confirmed positive cases
What is the deal with the different types of tests?
To check for current infection:
-In general, the more invasive the test, the more accurate the test. The nasopharyngeal tests that go way to the back of the nose are the most likely to pick it up.
-There are 2 types of tests to look for current infection:
Molecular (PCR): most likely to detect the virus and most likely to be accurate
Antigen tests: often can be done as rapid tests, but more likely to yield false negative or false positive results and sometimes need to be confirmed with a molecular test
We currently have a molecular test that can be obtained ideally as a “deep” nose swab but also can be done in the front nose only if needed. Results are often back in 24 hours but sometimes take 48 hours.
We may consider other options in the future if available and appropriate, but at the current time we consider ourselves quite fortunate to have such a quality test available to us with results in 24-48 hours.
Antibody tests are blood tests that can check for evidence of a previous COVID infection. However, these results do not change our recommendations at the current time.
Please give us a call if you think your child needs testing.
We will get through this together!
For up-to-date information on other COVID-19 related topics (including suggestions for how to handle Halloween!), the American Academy of Pediatrics has an excellent web site for this: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/default.aspx