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FactFinder 12 shares what to expect with COVID-19 testing

A long line of people in Wichita, Kansas wait to be tested for COVID-19.
A long line of people in Wichita, Kansas wait to be tested for COVID-19.(KWCH)
Published: Nov. 13, 2020 at 6:40 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - As the number of COVID-19 infections increases in Kansas, so does the need to test for the virus. As long lines at testing sites indicate, the need for testing comes with demand. For those awaiting COVID-19 testing, FactFinder 12 broke down what you can expect when you get to the front of the line.

There are three main types of tests for COVID-19: molecular, antigen, and antibody. Antibody tests are used to discover whether a person has already had the virus, possibly without even knowing. Antibody tests are not used to diagnose an active infection. For that, doctors use molecular testing. Antigen tests are often called “rapid tests.” Results come back in hours instead of days, but, experts warn, antigen tests are more prone to producing false negatives than molecular tests.

The collection process is the same for antigen and molecular testing. When it comes to actually conducting the test, a technician will swab the back of your throat, inside your nose or inside your cheek, depending on the exact test being used.

When it comes to home test kits, you spit into a tube and send it off to a lab. States like Minnesota offer the home test kits to any resident who wants one, free of charge. The home kits are promoted to be as accurate as the swab. The kits can also be purchased online, but tested offered by the Sedgwick County Health Department is free.

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