Choose the right Covid-19 test for your needs
If you haven’t had a Covid-19 test lately, you may need it soon. But which one?
Last year there were often long wait times to get a doctor’s appointment for a Covid-19 test and even longer wait times to get the results. Here’s the good news: Now there are more testing options, often easier to perform, and faster results. The bad news: The choices can be more confusing, and with the spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant, some are rare.
Do you go for a nasal swab that goes to a lab and can be more accurate but takes days to get results or one that you can pick up at the pharmacy, take at home and get results in 15 minutes? Should we choose the type of test that generally detects Covid-19 earlier in the infection? Or the one who might not catch it until you are contagious?
Sometimes “the best test is the test you can get,” says Dr. John Brooks, chief medical officer for the Covid-19 response at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The highly infectious Delta variant, which has increased transmissions, including breakthrough infections among some already vaccinated, has caused a race over some of the Covid-19 test kits that became available in April and extended some wait times . Earlier this week, Abbott Laboratories’ BinaxNow two-test self-test, which sells for between $ 20 and $ 24, was temporarily out of stock on Amazon.com, and the Ellume Covid-19 home test kit n was not available there.