- Rapid COVID test accuracy differs than the standard PCR test.
- PCR tests are 99% accurate. Therefore, the false positive rate of antigen testing should be close to zero.
- For Antigen tests, false negative results tend to occur more often than with PCR tests. This is why Antigen tests are not favored by the FDA as a single test for active infection. Because Antigen testing is quicker and requires less complex technology to perform than molecular testing, some experts recommend repeated Antigen testing as a reasonable strategy.
- Having an Antibody test too early can lead to false negative results. That is due to the reasoning that it takes a week or two after infection for your immune system to produce antibodies. The reported rate of false negatives is 20%. However, the range of false negatives is from 0% to 30%, depending on the study and when in the course of infection the test is performed.
For more information on COVID-19 test accuracy visit the MIT Medical Site.