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Three reasons a negative coronavirus test doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not infected – The Washington Post

Many people are getting tested for the coronavirus before they visit family and friends, but a negative result doesn’t guarantee that you’re not infected.

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Coronavirus testing in the United States has ramped up significantly in recent months, with the daily test count hovering around 1.5 million in January. There are two categories of tests: PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests considered the gold standard and less-accurate antigen tests.
PCR tests use a molecular process and are processed in a lab. Faster and cheaper antigen tests detect proteins on the viruss surface. Most rapid home tests, estimated to be about 90 percent accurate, use the antigen…

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