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State's COVID-19 dashboard now reporting Antigen tests

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Posted at 11:40 AM, Nov 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 12:40:57-05

On Friday, November 13, the Louisiana Department of Health began incorporating antigen tests into the state's COVID-19 reporting and dashboard.

The department says that there are two different types of COVID tests - diagnostic tests and antibody tests.

An antigen test is a type of diagnostic test. Those diagnostic tests, they say, can show if you have an active COVID-19 infection and should take steps to isolate yourself from others, and if your close contacts will need to quarantine themselves to protect the larger community.

In some settings, LDH says that an antigen test will need to be confirmed with a more accurate and definitive molecular/PCR test.

The use of antigen tests in Louisiana has increased substantially over the past few weeks.

On the COVID-19 dashboard, antigen tests are now included in Total Cases, which are then broken down into Confirmed Cases (molecular/PCR) and Probable Cases (antigen).

LDH says that Antigen tests are also now included in Total Tests, which are similarly broken down so one can see which are antigen tests and which are PCR tests.

PCR tests will continue to be the only type of test used to calculate percent positivity following current best practices and the guidance of The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Additionally, the reporting of parish, region and state percent positivity will be standardized as a weekly-cumulative metric throughout the dashboard, according to LDH.

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