Doctors say at-home COVID test not replacement for PCR test if symptomatic
More people are heading to COVID-19 testing sites as Christmas inches closer and infection rates climb, causing major line delays.
Doug Carle said he spent a few hours on line waiting to get tested at Bridgeport's North Branch Library.
Carle says he's traveling overseas for the holidays with a tight window for testing within 72 hours of his flight.
"Today's the last day, so we're kind of nervous bumping up. We leave on Thursday, and so we have to get the test done and get the results back," said Carle.
The state has opened even more mass testing sites this week.
Local grocery stores and pharmacies are selling out of home testing kits almost as fast as they can get them into stock. The kits have everything you need to swab and test yourself, for results in 15 minutes. But doctors say they're no replacement for a PCR test.
"If you have a rapid test and you take it and you're negative, I don't think you should be done if you're symptomatic. I think you should go ahead and get the PCR," said Dr. Sheldon Campbell.
Campbell is a laboratory medicine doctor with Yale Medicine. He says while the home kits are less sensitive, they're a great way to make sure you're not spreading COVID-19 before visiting with vulnerable relatives.
"Take it just before you go. Not two days before you go, because it's only a measure of what you're doing right now," said Campbell.
He says testing isn't a replacement for masking and distancing.
"Just because you wear your seatbelt doesn't mean you can drive 120 miles an hour in a car with no brakes, right?" he said.
Gov. Ned Lamont announced seven new state testing sites plus expanded hours at 23 current ones.
For a list of testing locations, click here.