Do COVID-19 rapid tests work on Omicron? – CTV

May 20, 2022

With Canadians across the country still faced with limited access to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, rapid antigen tests remain a quick and easy way to tell whether or not someone has COVID-19.

But a recent study performed in the United States revealed that these rapid tests may be less sensitive to newer variants of the virus, and therefore less effective at detecting their presence. This may leave some wondering just how accurate rapid antigen tests actually are, especially as Canadians navigate a sixth wave driven by the Omicron variant.

“The tests do work, they are still detecting COVID,” Dr. Christopher Labos, a Montreal-based cardiologist and epidemiologist, told in a phone interview on May 18. “We just have to understand their limitations.

“What we’re seeing with the Omicron variant and other variants is that false negatives are an issue.”

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