Does a Negative COVID-19 Test Guarantee Safety?

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negative COVID-19 test
Image by fernando zhiminaicela from Pixabay

The U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported over one million new coronavirus infections in the US in a time period of only seven days, which shows the second wave in the country may even be deadlier than the first one. Due to the high risk of contracting the virus, people are relying on negative COVID-19 test.

According to health experts, the upcoming few weeks are crucial in controlling the further spread of the coronavirus and ending the pandemic as soon as possible.

With the developments in different vaccines, the crisis can be resolved if people collaborate with the medical community.

However, the transmission levels have remained to be very high till now. In the US, the majority of the young adult population is no longer taking precautions as seriously as they did before.

Other countries are also facing a similar issue. On top of it all, there is also a shortage of healthcare workers, accommodation for new patients, and the rise of other infections such as influenza.

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In order to bring down the number of new cases being diagnosed every day, health agencies including the CDC are strictly advising people to take preventive measures including wearing a mask in public places, maintaining distance, and staying at home.

Additionally, in the holiday season, the risk of catching that infection is much higher which is why avoiding parties, dinners, and large gatherings are advised by experts.

Even prior to attending an event, it is better to ask the host questions about the implications of preventive measures for coronavirus to make sure the particular gathering has a low risk.

The same principle also applies to planning a dinner or a party. Make sure that all attendees are wearing masks and following other protocols given by the CDC to minimize the risk of transmission of the virus.

Consequently, many people are indeed following the guidelines and arranging their events accordingly. In fact, at many of the gatherings, testing prior to coming is now becoming a common requirement.

As per the rules set in most events now, attendees have to get tested for coronavirus and will only be allowed to come if their results are negative. In a way, this ensures that the virus does not spread even from an asymptomatic person.

Although this extra precautionary step can help to an extent, it cannot always ensure safety as assumed by people.

At the moment, a number of testing options can help in determining whether a person has a coronavirus infection. In the millions of tests being performed on a regular basis, sometimes there is a false positive.

However, the chances of a false negative are much higher in comparison. Therefore, relying completely on a negative COVID-19 test and not taking other preventive measures can still cause an outbreak as infected people may believe they do not have the virus after getting a false negative.

Secondly, there is also a chance that a person may catch the virus in the time period between the test results and the actual event. Hence, following guidelines is important in all scenarios.

 

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