Guilderland doctor: At-home COVID tests not perfect, but very helpful

With the rise in COVID-19 cases, a lot of people are taking the at home COVID tests. How effective are they? Dr. James Saperstone, a pediatrician in Guilderland, says the at-home COVID tests are not perfect. However, he says they are still very helpful in detecting COVID.

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Saperstone says the rapid tests are good for three situations. First, he says if you have an exposure, the tests will tell you whether or not you need to quarantine. Second, he says if you have symptoms, it’s good to take tests because then you can determine whether or not you have COVID or have another illness. Third, Saperstone says the tests are good in case you are going to an event. He says if you don’t have symptoms, you want to take one test several days before the event, and then another one when you are ready to go.

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Saperstone says the rapid tests have a sensitivity of 85%.

"That means that when you test someone with a rapid test, there’s an 85% chance if it’s positive, that you’ll have the virus, and there’s a 15% chance that it’s wrong," said Saperstone.

The doctor is still encouraging people to get their vaccines.

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Find out what he had to say about how effective the rapid tests are at catching omicron, by watching the video of Jonathan Hunter’s story.