When used frequently and on a broad scale, rapid antigen tests are a powerful way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and support the return to normalcy—and you can help lead the way.
The fight against COVID-19 has been long and difficult, affecting everything from the ways we live and work to the global economy—to say nothing of our mental health. The desire to return to normal is felt far and wide, there’s also fear and uncertainty about how and whether we can do so safely.
Fortunately, there are tools available that can help—like rapid antigen testing. These easy-to-use tests can provide critical and timely information about a person’s COVID status. However, they must be used correctly and regularly in order to reap their full benefits. That means community leaders like governments, businesses, schools, and public health organizations have an opportunity to lead the way in developing and implementing testing protocols to help usher in a safer future.
Antigen testing: a small but mighty tool
On the surface, rapid antigen tests are simple and easy to use. They’re inexpensive. They don’t need to be administered or analyzed by a medical professional; the process only requires a swab of the nose and/or mouth, which can be done by anyone from the comfort of home. They don’t take very long, producing results in about 30 minutes.
The simplicity of the rapid antigen test is exactly what makes it such an important tool when it comes to reducing the spread of COVID-19. That’s because these tests detect high viral loads in the body with remarkable accuracy; the tests produced by Innova Medical Group have proven to have nearly 100% sensitivity on people who are infectious with a false positive rate of only .3%.
Understanding when viral loads are high is important in detecting when a person is most likely to be infectious. Covid spreads quickly and the highly infectious strains like the Delta variant spread even more quickly. Being able to quickly identify contagious individuals allows for faster implementation of mitigation measures, can reduce the spread of the virus by breaking the chain of transmission, and can ultimately save lives.
Regular and repeated testing is key
The rapid antigen test truly shines in detecting asymptomatic or presymptomatic cases. Mathematical models show viral loads tend to peak before the first symptoms appear, meaning people are infectious before they even become aware they’ve been infected. Around 1 in 3 people who contract the virus never show symptoms at all, making it possible for them to spread the virus without ever knowing they’ve caught it themselves.
To counter this, rapid antigen tests must be used regularly, regardless of the presence of symptoms. This isn’t just theory. In Liverpool, England, between November 6, 2020, and April 30, 2021, serial testing caught 6,300 cases of people who tested positive for COVID-19 despite declaring no symptoms. Unchecked, those cases could have ravaged the city. Instead, it’s estimated that serial testing reduced Liverpool’s COVID-19 cases by more than a fifth and increased case detection by 18%.
Leading the way to a safer future
These findings provide valuable information and are a bright spot of hope as we continue to navigate our way through the pandemic. They also illuminate an opportunity for community leaders like governments, businesses, public health organizations, and schools—to lead the way in implementing and enforcing rigorous testing protocols to both save lives and promote the return to daily activities.
Westhoughton High School in Bolton, England, created safety protocols that included providing a daily negative rapid antigen test. Not only did this let students and staff feel safer attending school in person, but it saved them from having to quarantine as often. Previously, when a person in the school contracted COVID-19, entire classes would have to go into isolation. With rapid antigen testing, even “close contacts” of people who tested positive were allowed to continue attending school so long as they could provide a negative test. This increased classroom time for the students by an estimated 3,500 days. In addition to improving learning, being back in the classroom, and among their peers was a major boost for the students’ mental health.
We can also look at the UK government, which conducted a series of pilot events with the intention of learning how we can safely get back to regular activities. The events ranged from a small business meeting to a nightclub party to the FA Cup Final. Included in the price of entry was a negative rapid antigen test. And the results were decisive; out of the 58,000 people who attended, a mere 28 cases of COVID-19 were recorded afterward. These pilot events provided a rich amount of data we can use to inform future reopenings—but equally as important, they provided a ray of hope.
Supporting you as a leader
Along with our rapid and reliable antigen tests, Innova Medical Group brings a wealth of expertise allowing us to offer customized testing and health protocols for leaders like you. With experience in more than 20 countries across four continents, our medical experts can help you define the best possible solutions for any activity or circumstance, from communities to companies to schools and more. Our mobile app also offers a convenient option for healthcare providers and individuals to track and manage their COVID-19 statuses in complete confidentiality. So together, we can work toward a safer future.
Contact us today to learn how Innova Medical Group can help you lead the way to a safer, brighter future.