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If You're Tested For Covid, Stay Home While Waiting For Results, Health Officials Say

Spokane COVID Response/City of Spokane

Spokane County health authorities are urging people who go to get tested for Covid to assume they’re positive and stay home until they hear otherwise.

Health Officer Bob Lutz says many labs that test the samples are so busy that they’re not able to return results for a week or more. “Because of the backlog in testing, we are seeing a backlog in case counts," Lutz said. "The numbers I’m reporting today may have been individuals who were tested a week ago, which means they may have been infected two weeks prior to that and so I am still looking at times in June where, potentially, people were contracting the infection, but now are resulting in positive cases.”

Speaking of positive cases, the health district announced another 52 on Monday after a weekend that featured two days with case counts in the 90s.

The so-called rapid response tests that take as little as 15 minutes to get results offer an alternative, but Lutz isn’t sold.  

“I think that the rapid testing is much more problematic and yet, that’s what oftentimes is available," he said. "I think that people need to be very critical in asking their providers what type of testing is being done, what is the accuracy of the test. Can I be assured that a negative test truly is a negative test?”

Spokane health district officials say they’ve recently posted on their website some guidance for when people who have tested positive or shown symptoms can safely return to work.