The seventh allotment of COVID-19 antigen test kits will be provided by the federal government to Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments-certified institutions in Bucks County.
“Antigen test cards are a timely, quick and easy-to-use tool for communities to receive rapid COVID-19 resting,” said Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine. “These test kits, provided by the federal government and being distributed to areas in need by the Wolf Administration, will further help communities struggling with the spread of COVID-19. Antigen tests look for pieces of proteins that make up the SARS-CoV-2 virus and are less sensitive than PCR tests for detecting COVID-19 infections.”
Tests were previously distributed to a number of other counties.
The antigen test detects an antigen on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus while the Polymerase chain reaction test detects viral RNA. Both PCR and antigen tests can detect active infection and are considered diagnostic tests. Antigen tests can be considered for symptomatic individuals (within the first five to seven days of symptom onset) and in asymptomatic individuals in settings where there is a high probability that the individual to be tested is positive, such as when they are a close contact of a case.
Levine previously issued an order to healthcare providers and facilities reinforcing that all antigen test results, both positive and negative, are required to be reported to the Department of Health. A patient with a positive antigen test result is considered a case and receives a complete case investigation and contact tracing. All entities conducting testing to identify SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, are required by law to report positive, inconclusive/indeterminate, and negative results to the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System within 24 hours. All laboratory reporters must request a PA-NEDSS account if they do not already have one.
The department anticipates receiving hundreds of thousands of tests over a number of weeks from the federal government. The department will continue to provide kits to counties in need.
CLIA-certified sites include:
– All long-term care facilities
– Higher education institutions
– Drug and alcohol and behavioral health treatment centers
– State and county correctional facilities
– Healthcare providers (federally qualified health centers, urgent care centers, pharmacies, primary care doctors)
The targeted populations will be tested at CLIA-certified sites that directly receive these test kits and can provide timely test results and healthcare advice during their visit.
Targeted populations include:
– Individuals in congregate care settings
– Day care workers or clients
– K-12 students and adults who work in K-12 settings
– College and university students
– Individuals without permanent housing
– Food distribution and facility employees
– Food workers
– First responders
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