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UnityPoint offers rapid COVID-19 testing

Testing to be offered at any family medicine clinic within FD area

UnityPoint Clinic — Fort Dodge announced Monday new rapid COVID-19 testing offerings at any family medicine clinic within the Fort Dodge region and UnityPoint Clinic Pediatrics.

The rapid testing is available to both asymptomatic and symptomatic patients.

“We’re excited to offer a rapid point-of-care COVID-19 test for both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients,” said Jenn Crimmins, regional vice president of clinic operations for UnityPoint.

The test, similar to the one that has been offered by Community Health Center of Fort Dodge, delivers a “highly accurate” result from one nasal swab in about 15 minutes.

“We believe this will be a helpful diagnostic tool for symptomatic patients,” said Crimmins. “In addition, as more and more individuals are being vaccinated and spring break approaches, we understand patients may be interested in asymptomatic testing for travel reasons.”

For those experiencing symptoms, the release said it is important to be tested within the first five days of symptoms. Testing within this timeframe has an extremely reliable positivity rate, though false negatives can still occur.

“Unfortunately, rapid COVID tests are known for having a 20% false negativity rate and more likely when patients are not tested at the right time,” said Crimmins. “To ensure our patients do not receive a false negative, we will collect a second swab for lab confirmation for symptomatic patients using a molecular test if the rapid test comes back negative.”

While these patients will need to isolate until the second test is returned; it is considered a clinical best practice to lab confirm negative antigen testing for COVID if the patient is symptomatic.

“We’re fortunate to offer this service to our patients not only for their peace of mind in knowing their result is accurate, but to also help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” said Crimmins.

For symptomatic patients or patients with a known exposure and insurance, charges for the test will be submitted to insurance. Those undergoing asymptomatic testing for travel or other reasons will have the option of submitting charges to insurance or paying $88.

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