FDA recommends repeat or serial testing when taking at-home COVID-19 tests to reduce risk of false negative results

TRUST INDEX: Which expiration date should you use on the COVID-19 home tests?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety communication on Thursday advising people to perform repeat, or serial, testing following a negative result on any at-home COVID-19 antigen test.

The FDA says if repeat testing is not performed after a negative result, an infection may be missed and people may unknowingly spread the SARS-CoV-2 virus to others, especially if they are not experiencing symptoms.

The FDA recommends repeat testing following a negative result whether or not you have COVID-19 symptoms.

“The FDA’s new recommendations for at-home COVID-19 antigen tests underscore the importance of repeat testing after a negative test result in order to increase the chances of detecting an infection. These recommendations are based on sound scientific evidence and a result of the FDA’s collaboration with government and academic partners to assess at-home COVID-19 antigen test performance and ensure public health remains a top priority, particularly as the school season approaches,” said Jeff Shuren, M.D., J.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “Throughout the pandemic, we have continued to learn about COVID-19 and the impact of variants on the performance of diagnostic tests designed to detect the virus, and we are committed to keeping the public updated so they can make the most informed health care decisions.”

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