South Australia Introduces Rapid Antigen Testing For Home Use

Triple M Adelaide

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Rapid antigen testing kits are now available for home use across South Australia, the state government announced.

Supermarkets and pharmacies are expected to have the DIY tests in stock, as the state tries to combat the rise in case numbers following 484 new infections on Thursday. 

South Australia recorded 688 new COVID cases on Friday, as one male in his 30s remains in intensive care.

Acting Health Minister Rob Lucas said public demand will be high to begin.

"They'll be made available over the next week. In terms of supply, people might have to be patient," Lucas said.

"There's a lot of pressure on our testing facilities and we really want our testing facilities to be really a priority for those who are either suspected of having COVID-19 because they've got symptoms or they're a close contact."

The RAT tests have already been distributed for use by SA health workers, and the introduction means Western Australia are the only state yet to distribute testing kits for personal use.

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said it's important to remember the RAT tests aren't as accurate as the PCR tests.

"It's a screening test and it's very much like if you're a woman and you're doing your screening for breast cancer, you can have a mammogram to screen but if they find a lump they need to do a biopsy to make the diagnosis," she said.

"Any positive result needs to be followed up, like a mammogram. [It] has to be followed up with a PCR test."

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24 December 2021

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