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COVID-19

Rapid COVID-19 testing may result in case undercounts

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Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs (Photo via video screen grab)

Rapid testing for COVID-19 may be skewing the reported case numbers for the Mississippi State Department of Health, resulting in a case undercounts.

During the governor’s live news conference Monday, State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said that MSDH was having a difficult time getting testing data from clinicians using the rapid tests, which do not have to be sent to a lab for analysis.

“We’re not getting any negative reporting on the rapid tests,” Dobbs said, adding, “We’re actually having a little bit of trouble getting the positives from the rapids.”

Dobbs is confident of the results reported by laboratories, but at this time, there is no simple way to report rapid testing results.

“It’s a little bit more labor intensive,” he said, “but it’s something that we have to have.”

The rapid tests require someone to manually enter the data into the MSDH system.

“What we found is that’s not happening” at some clinics, Dobbs said.

MSDH is working with doctors and clinics to rectify the situation.

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