UW doctor: When to use a PCR versus rapid antigen test for COVID-19

As we close move into the second fall season of the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for rapid tests is still growing, but not all tests are exactly the same.

Seattle has now administered 1 million COVID tests at citywide locations

Dr. Geoff Baird with UW Medicine has a simple formula for weighing the two main test types: PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and rapid antigen.

“If someone is symptomatic, it makes the most sense to take the test that is actually available at that time,” Baird said. “The clinical performance of a rapid antigen test is good enough such that you will get a pretty good result, a pretty reliable

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