Oklahoma begins including rapid antigen tests in daily COVID-19 case list

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – On Tuesday, the State of Oklahoma started officially reporting rapid antigen tests in its COVID-19 daily case update. 

Positive antigen tests have always been counted as just probable cases, but the state says it’s investigated every one and reported the case to the CDC. Now it’s just sharing that information with Oklahomans to be more transparent.  

“This reporting change is something multiple states are going through.  It’s not unique to Oklahoma,” Oklahoma Deputy Health Commissioner Travis Kirkpatrick told News 4.  “It’s due in large part to the fact that the CDC has amended its guidance for a confirmed case versus a probable case.”

On the first day of adding antigen tests to the count, the state reported 833 new positive cases of COVID-19. 

Not a huge number coming off a holiday weekend, but OU Medicine’s Chief COVID Officer Dr. Dale Bratzler says we should see more cases in the coming days.  

“Maybe one or 200 positive cases a day perhaps, I don’t know what that’s going to look like,” Dr. Bratzler said. “I don’t expect though a huge explosion in a number of new cases.”

Interim State Epidemiologist Dr. Jared Taylor says the daily numbers are important, but he’s more focused on trends over time.  

“We’re seeing too high of a percent positivity response over an extended period of time,” Taylor told News 4. “That concerns us that we’re not detecting all of the cases that are likely in the community.”

Everyone agrees rapid antigen tests are a good tool, but the state recommends you always follow a rapid test with a standard PCR test to confirm the result.

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