How accurate are the rapid coronavirus tests?


(WTNH) — Concerns are being raised about the accuracy of those quick 15-minute Abbott Labs COVID-19 tests being used in the state.

A Cleveland clinical study found the Abbott test only detected the virus in 85 percent of samples with a false negative rate of nearly 15 percent.

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News 8’s Bob Wilson asked Governor Lamont about it: “Where are you using them, have you talked to Abbott Labs about it, and have you found out more about this?”

“There have been inaccuracies, in many cases where you can have a false negative, in which case they often want to do a second test just to double-check on that,” Gov. Lamont said.

“If one person doesn’t stick it in far enough, you can get what we call a false negative. Where a person’s sick, but you get a negative result. And that’s actually not necessarily a product of the exact test, but it’s more a product of the way that we get the sample,” Dr. Albert Ko explained.

Doctor Ko says the state hopes to roll out a saliva test, which would eliminate that problem with the swab tests.

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