The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has started reporting both positive and negative results of antigen tests as use of the rapid tests increases across the state. As of Friday, antigen tests make up less than two percent of all COVID-19 testing in Iowa. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the sensitivity of the rapid-result antigen tests is typically lower than the more frequently used polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method, which is considered the “gold standard” for clinical diagnosis of COVID-19. The department says many states have chosen not to report the results of these antigen tests, but the IDPH believes doing so provides a more complete picture of coronavirus activity for Iowans. Prior to Friday, antigen tests have been included in the state’s case count; however, individual results were listed as inconclusive rather than positive or negative. With new guidance from the CDC, IDPH now uses these tests to calculate and report county positivity rates. Antigen tests are generally used in long-term care facilities, health care clinics, retail pharmacies and other similar environments to quickly identify infected individuals, guide infection prevention protocols and prevent additional transmission. To view county-by-county and statewide statistics, visit coronavirus.iowa.gov.
Read More: IDPH Now Reporting Results From Antigen Testing In State Totals And County