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Company behind ‘false-positive’ antigen tests stands by results

Published: Aug. 21, 2020 at 5:39 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 21, 2020 at 5:53 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - The company behind antigen tests used in southern Vermont says they think their tests were accurate and the health department’s tests might not have been.

Antigen testing came under scrutiny after the Manchester Medical Center used it and reported more than 50 positive cases of COVID-19.

That led to several pop-up sites where the health department used PCR testing to determine if there was an outbreak.

The health department ultimately declared most of those antigen results false positives when peoples' PCR tests came back negative.

But in a press release, Quidel said neither they nor the FDA found any issues with the southern Vermont tests. They said they believe their results were true positive cases and that the state's PCR tests were potentially inaccurate.

Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine called that statement inappropriate.

"The most commonly used test is the PCR test and it is known as a reliable test. And I would want people in Vermont to know that if they need to get tested, they should have a high degree of confidence in their results," Levine said.

Levine says they feel their results are accurate because there was no epidemiological evidence of widespread COVID cases in that area. Their investigation is still ongoing.

When asked if he felt antigen testing is accurate, he said yes, when it’s used appropriately.

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