Bloomberg Law
July 27, 2020, 9:46 AM

Error Rates on Rapid Covid-19 Tests Put Nursing Homes on Edge

Tony Pugh
Tony Pugh

The new rapid Covid-19 antigen tests being sent to thousands of U.S. nursing homes in high-infection areas have a troubling flaw: They provide false negative results for about 15% of infected people.

As nursing home infections climb once again due to the resurgence of the coronavirus, a false negative test could prove dangerous and even fatal for facilities that don’t confirm the results and mistakenly provide access to an infected person, said Christopher Laxton, executive director of AMDA—The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.

“If you’re putting people into an environment where they may in fact have the virus, ...

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