COVID-19 home testing for School District 51

At-home antigen tests that come out positive are accepted, but negative at-home tests are not accepted.
Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 8:17 PM MST|Updated: Jan. 11, 2022 at 9:29 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - There has been some confusion from around the community regarding how COVID-19 home testing works for those in the Mesa County Valley School District 51.

D51 Nursing Services Coordinator Katie McKew said, the district is following guidelines from Mesa County Public Health. The health department says at-home antigen tests that come out positive are accepted. But negative at-home tests are not accepted because they are not proctored, meaning watched by an official.

”For tests that are done at-home that are not proctored by an outside entity like a doctors office or lab, that sort of thing,” explained McKew. ”We can accept positive at-home tests, but we cannot accept reported negative at-home tests.”

So negative tests must be PCR or proctored to be accepted. This is because there is a higher rate of false negatives for the rapid at-home tests.

This comes as the state has distributed free rapid Binax home tests for the public for those who signed up. However, there is a shortage of rapid tests currently.

“The one that the state is sending out is the Binax brand and that’s free of charge if you sign up with them,” said McKew. “Lately they haven’t been sending them out because they don’t have them.”

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