Doctors stress importance of COVID-19 testing; want to see testing ramp up 2 or 3 times from where it is now

Local News

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV)-It’s a critical tool in our fight against COVID-19.

“I think the most important part of COVD-19 testing is to get tested,” says Dr. Ashok Rai who is the President and CEO of Prevea Health.

There are three scenarios where a person should get a COVID-19 test. The first one is if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19. Secondly, if they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and third prior to gathering in big groups.

There are two main types of tests. The first is known as the PCR Test and it’s known as the gold standard for COVID-19 testing. It requires lab equipment to generate results and may take a few days for results to come back. It analyzes a person’s upper respiratory sample looking for the presence of RNA material in COVID-19.

It’s widely considered as the most accurate and reliable COVID-19 test.

The second test is an antigen test, also known as a rapid test because it can be done at home and results come back quickly. It detects bits of proteins on the virus’s surface called antigens.

“(We have to) slow down the spread of the disease because as it slows down it allows our healthcare systems to catch up and to maintain a healthcare infrastructure,” says Rai.

Doctors say the United States is in a better spot right now than they were at the beginning of the pandemic in terms of availability of COVID-19 tests. But there’s a lot of work left to be done.

He says he would like to see testing capacity and the number of people getting tests reach two or three times the level that it is at currently. He says it’s easier to ramp up capacity for antigen testing because they require less infrastructure than PCR tests which requires equipment.

“Our focus should be ramping up our testing infrastructure not in months not in weeks but in days,” says Rai.

For more information on how to get a COVID-19 test with Prevea Health, click here.

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