Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

COVID-19 testing is important as the number of positive cases have not slowed down. YSU students should be well-informed on testing, especially since free testing is now being offered by the Youngstown City Health District and National Guard.

In terms of testing for an active infection of COVID-19, the Mayo Clinic explains that there are two different types of tests: the PCR test and the antigen test. The PCR test uses a lab technique called the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which is a molecular test and considered very accurate when performed properly. On the other hand, the antigen test detects certain proteins from the virus and produces quicker results. These antigen tests are the “rapid tests” that people tend to go for because of the quick results. It should be noted that a positive antigen test is considered very accurate. Despite this, there is an increased chance of false-negative results. With this being so, depending on the patient’s situation, a PCR test may be conducted to confirm the negative result.

Considerations on who should get tested for COVID-19 varies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The first reason for testing would be those who are symptomatic. The second reason are those who have come in direct contact with an infected person, within six feet, for at least 15 minutes. The third reason are those who have been referred by their primary care physician or health department. Additionally, it should be known to self-quarantine/isolate while test results are pending. Testing for COVID-19 will help our health departments with contact tracing and slowing the spread of COVID-19.


Kali Kerpelis