LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – “False positives” and “power to the people.” Words graffitied on the brick of the Walgreens on Executive Drive, now a COVID-19 testing site.
“Unfortunately in this case, with the COVID testing, everybody’s kind of grasped on to the false positive,” said Emergency Physician Dr. Ryan Stanton.
Stanton said a false positive simply means a test shows positive when it actually should have been negative.
“Meaning in this case with COVID, it says it detected COVID, but COVID was not actually there,” Stanton said.
Despite the words spray painted on the wall, Dr. Stanton said you’re actually more likely to get a false negative result than a false positive.
“That’s been our concern in healthcare from the very beginning. A false negative meaning it should have detected something that is there, but it says it’s negative or not there,” said Dr. Stanton.
Dr. Stanton said there are several different tests available and it’s all such new technology, which means there is room for error in some cases.
“If you’re symptomatic and you have a negative test, it by no means means that you should go back to business as usual. Actually, a negative test with symptoms, you still need to quarantine.”
And then get tested again.
“We’re getting to that part of the year where it’s going to be a little more difficult to tell because we’re going to have flu and everything else floating around.”
Dr. Stanton said there are fewer hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19, but he said it’s still not safe to go about business as usual.
Urging people to be especially cautious this time of year, with allergies, colds and the flu.
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