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COVID-19 self-tests available in Clark County, locals debate accuracy

Posted at 5:04 PM, Jun 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-17 15:54:43-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — While it's convenient to test at home, are all COVID-19 at-home tests always accurate?

One study says, no.

"Tell them not to waste their money," said Las Vegas local Robert Gonzales. "If you have to pay for it, don't pay for it."

Gonzales thinks at-home COVID-19 tests are a waste of money after he got inaccurate results.

"COVID tests out a machine ok two were positive two were negative so then I went to my neighbor who is a doctor and he did one and he says yea there is nothing wrong with you and I showed him the test and he goes yea there not accurate."

But not everyone agrees, Lane Zinzle appreciates the convenience of the rapid COVID tests.

"I feel like the at-home COVID tests are accurate, and they are definitely beneficial for people who don't have resources to get tested otherwise." said Las Vegas local Lane Zinzle.

As COVID cases and hospitalizations rise in Clark County, there's concern about at-home rapid COVID tests giving a false negative result.

According to an experiment completed by Stanford University School of Medicine both a rapid COVID test and a PCR test were given to more than 700 Stanford athletes.

The results showed that the rapid tests caught only 63% of positive cases and produced quite a few false negatives. The accuracy varied when it came to symptoms. An infected athlete with no symptoms could show a false negative result.

Gonzales says he prefers to go to a doctor to get the most accurate result.

"If it's free you can try, but I'll just still go to the COVID center that the state put up." Gonzales said.

The Southern Nevada Health District says the spike in COVID-19 cases here in Clark County is because of a more infectious COVID variant.

While the district won't comment on specific at-home tests, they say, "Tests may not detect the virus in people early in their infection and can result in false negatives. A positive at-home test, however, means that someone is infectious and should take steps to isolate to protect those around them."

The best advice from the Southern Nevada Health District is if you think you have COVID and you're suspicious of a negative result from an at-home test, follow up with your doctor or an official testing site.