Health Administrator warns self-swabbing testing returning inaccurate coronavirus results

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MONROE COUNTY, Ill. – If you got tested for COVID-19 and chose to self-swab, the Monroe County, Illinois health administrator is recommending you to get tested again.

As some people are nervous when they go to get COVID testing, there’s an option in some areas to swab yourself.

Well, it appears that method is proving not to be as accurate as it should.

“If you ever had the test done, it makes your eyes water,” John Wagner, Monore County Health Administrator, said.

If you ask, it’s almost certain a great majority of people tested for COVID-19 will tell you the test may be many things, but it is not comfortable.

Sticking a 6-inch cotton swab through the nose may cause a bit of pain, but it’s proving to be most effective in the hands of a licensed health professional.

“It has to be a deep nasal swab for it to be an accurate test,” Wagner said.

CDC guidelines call for the swab to be at least one centimeter inside the nose and held there for about 15 seconds.

Wagner says problems are arising as some health professionals are allowing people to swab themselves.

“If you’ve gone to a testing site and you’ve been asked to swab yourself unless there’s been some detailed instructions on how to do it and how deep to go, you’re probably not doing it properly.”

The health administrator says that’s what he believes happened in his county.

To Wagner’s understanding, a nursing home worker got tested twice at a Metro-East facility by self-swabbing and both tests came back negative.

It wasn’t until that person allowed a health official to do the test when it was revealed the person tested positive and potentially could’ve had the coronavirus the entire time.

“The last thing we want is positives going around thinking their negative,” Wagner said. “That would be a sure way to spread this quickly.”

With 12 deaths and 125 confirmed cases in Monroe County, the health administrator has a heightened concern.

As Illinois moves into the 4th phase and more businesses begin opening up, Wagner is worried a resurgence could come from neglect more so than the natural spread of Covid.

“You should be taking every precaution possible when you’re out to protect yourself,” Wagner said.

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