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Are rapid tests accurate for Omicron?

Whether you’ve recently come in contact with someone who has COVID or you have symptoms that make you wonder, it’s essential to know whether or not you have been infected. Of course, taking a test will help you determine your state of health, but are rapid tests accurate for Omicron? Should you take more than one, and what if you get a result you don’t expect? Here’s all you need to know if you’re wondering how accurate rapid antigen tests results are in detecting Omicron. 

How accurate are Rapid COVID-19 tests?

covid test served like a dish on table

When purchasing rapid antigen tests, it’s essential to check the accuracy of the individual type of test you’re buying. Our Boson test kits are one of the most accurate RATs in the world, so you can test with confidence that you are using a product with proven accuracy. Overall, ours detect the correct result 97.5% of the time. Studies have shown that other tests are accurate anywhere from 70-90% of the time.

Are rapid tests accurate for Omicron?

Although rapid tests are good at detecting COVID, results can vary where the Omicron variant is concerned. A Wall Street Journal article cites that rapid antigen tests can detect Omicron. However, RATs are less sensitive towards recognizing this particular variant. In addition, they aren’t as good at seeing the early stages of Omicron, which means that someone could transmit this variant before they would test positive.

Therefore, if you have any suspicion that you have Omicron, you should take precautions, even if you test negative. In short, rapid antigen tests can detect this variant, but Omicron needs to build up in the system before it’s accurately diagnosed. However, by then, it could be too late. 

How to increase the accuracy of a rapid test for Omicron?

covid prevention poster on the street

To correctly detect Omicron, it’s vital to set the process up for success, so prepare accordingly. Store your tests as directed on the packaging until you are ready to use them. When you are ready, blow your nose before taking the test, and don’t open the test until you are prepared to perform it. Also, have a timer ready so you can look at the results at the optimum time. 

Read the instructions for the COVID-19 test, and perform it precisely as the instructions state. Then, look at the test at the designated time to see if you have a positive or negative result. It’s important to note that rapid tests sometimes give a false negative, but they rarely give false positives. If you have been exposed or are showing symptoms and get a negative test result, you should follow up with a PCR test or consult your health professional. 

How do I know if I have Omicron after testing positive?

planner on wall

Rapid COVID tests will determine whether or not you have the virus, but they will not tell you which strain. So, if you test positive, there is no way to determine whether you have Omicron, Delta, or another variant based on the test results alone. However, the protocols are all the same. Quarantine, social distance, wear a mask and take other precautions to stop the spread of Omicron and COVID-19 in general.