How to test at home for COVID in Canberra using an antigen test | Canberra Times


Home test kits for COVID are on sale. Some pharmacies in Canberra have started selling the packages while others were waiting for supplies. A version, made by Roche, the pharmaceutical multinational, sold in ACT for $ 59.99 for a pack of five. The online price was sometimes higher. Pharmacist Dale Jordan of Capital Chemist in O’Connor said the test would be of great benefit to humans and to the wider community by offering instant, convenient testing, thus eliminating stress. “It gives us a way to calm our own fears and worries in a timely manner,” he said. The big advantage, he believed, was that tests would be available at short notice. The results would be known after half an hour. If anyone was worried, he felt they could get a test right away instead of having to wait for the results a day or so later. The home test is what is called an antigen test – it tests for substances associated with COVID. The second type of test used at the official test sites is known as a PCR test, which involves samples going to a laboratory. It is a little more reliable, but takes longer. Both test in the same way, with a cotton swab on a thin stick, which is pushed up into the nose of the person. It is uncomfortable to say the least, but not nearly as painful. Home tests have errors now and again, but they are errors on the cautionary side – they are more likely to tell you that you have COVID when you do not have, than that you do not have COVID if you have. According to the manufacturer “negative test results do not preclude infection with COVID-19 (so that face masks, social distances and good hygiene practices must be maintained)”. A positive test on the home package, on the other hand, means that the person must get the official PCR test at one of the test centers quickly, but without getting in touch with other people on the road. Home tests can be helpful for workplaces and schools. They have been tested at schools in Albury NSW recently in an attempt to reduce disruption to an entire school if someone is thought to be in close contact with an infected person. In the past, the whole school may have been isolated, but with the lightning tests, other students can test, and if they are negative, they will be allowed to continue their schooling. Workplaces can start this quick test on a daily basis. The NSW government says, for example, that “for on-site workplace testing, testing every 72 hours (two to three times a week) is recommended as a minimum for full-time employees”. “Daily testing is the gold standard as this will help identify positive cases early and avoid on-site transfer,” the government says. However, it admits that “daily testing may not be practical for workplaces” and that “this will be a matter for each company to decide based on their risk assessment and COVID-safe work plans in place”. Our journalists work hard to deliver local, up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how to continue accessing our trusted content:


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