State Dept. of Health to provide weekly reports of positive antigen test results

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington State Department of Health will now publish a weekly report of COVID-positive antigen test results.

Antigen tests can provide results in minutes, compared to much longer wait times for most molecular tests.

Antigen testing is already underway across the state and is expected to increase in the coming months, as the federal government has promised to send 2 million rapid tests to the state.

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According to the DOH, rapid antigen tests are on average less accurate than molecular tests and have not been widely studied for people who do not have symptoms. This will add complexity to the way the state measures COVID-19 prevalence in Washington, DOH said.

For now, the DOH weekly report will include positive antigen results at the state level only and will remain separate from the molecular test results in the online dashboard.

“The goal in publicly reporting antigen test results is to increase transparency not just into our process, but into COVID-19 activity statewide. People across the state need a line of sight into these results as these tests become more popular and accessible, so we can understand emerging trends,” said Lacy Fehrenbach, Deputy Secretary of Health for COVID-19.

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