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On-site rapid COVID-19 tests temporarily paused at Utah state testing sites

Gloved hand using a nasal swap for COVID-19
Eli Lucero
Herald Journal
A nurse tests a nasal swap for COVID-19 in this 2020 file photo.

Following an announcement made on Sunday by the Utah Department of Health, on-site rapid antigen COVID-19 tests are being temporarily paused at all state-operated testing sites.

These sites are now only offering PCR tests and will also offer at-home tests to those who may want to receive results faster. Officials have stated that this change came about after a data analysis raised questions about how accurate performances for the rapid tests were. 18,000 Utahns had their test results analyzed and officials discovered that half of those who tested positive through the PCR test received negative results through the rapid antigen test.

Nate Checketts, UDOH executive director, says that they’re committed to being transparent and are seeking additional information to address all questions people might have. UDOH is shifting their testing efforts to match the changing environment for COVID-19 testing.

Officials have advised those who received a negative rapid test between Feb. 2nd and Feb. 6th should consider being re-tested with a PCR test or with an at-home test kit. The temporary pause will begin on Monday, Feb. 7.