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  • Sara Doan, Northeast Arkansas News

Local doctor explains when is the best time to get tested for COVID-19

JONESBORO, Ark Frontline health workers are seeing many people receive Coronavirus false negative.

One local doctor is hoping to educate the public about when is and isn’t the best time to get tested is as northeast Arkansas’ Covid cases continue to rise.

“So, day seven or eight is the best time to get a test,” says NEA Baptist physician Dr. Shane Lyerly. “Day seven or eight from your exposure. At that point, you get false negative reports in the range of about 20%, and that’s the best time you can get it.”

Dr. Lyerly says day one of exposure will give you 100% a false negative.

By day four, the day before symptoms usually set in, up to 67% will produce a false negative.

Day five can produce 38% false negative results and 20% by day eight of exposure.

Dr. Lyerly says even if you test negative for the virus, you still want to quarantine for two weeks.

“The CDC still recommends for the general public that if you’ve had exposure or you’ve having symptoms consistent with COVID and you get tested regardless of the results you still quarantine for 14 days,” he said.

Dr. Lyerly says if you are unknowingly exposed and develop symptoms, your first day of symptoms is typically day five of exposure.

He says you can consider yourself infectious, two days before symptoms appear to five days after.

The type of test can also be a factor too.

“The polymerase swab, the one that people really don’t like, to date, is probably our best method of testing to get you know, true positive results,” said Dr. Lyerly.

If you have any questions or are wanting more information about the coronavirus, Dr. Lyerly suggest going to the CDC website.


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