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Dr. Shah says people should feel confident using at-home COVID rapid tests

At-home rapid COVID-19 tests, like this one from Abbott, can be difficult to find and cost-prohibitive for some families.
Scott Olson
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At-home rapid COVID-19 tests, like this one from Abbott, can be difficult to find and cost-prohibitive for some families.

The director of the Maine CDC says people should feel confident using at home rapid tests for COVID-19, despite a statement from the FDA last week that the tests may be less accurate at detecting the omicron variant.

The FDA did not recommend people stop using them, and Dr. Nirav Shah of the Maine CDC says other scientists support their use.

"Even in the face of omicron, with its mutations and variations, at home tests, the rapid antigen tests, remain an effective tool, particularly if you're symptomatic," Shah says.

Shah also says research from South Africa supports swabbing the back of the throat when doing at-home tests instead of the nose.

With at-home tests in short supply, the Maine CDC is opening a drive-through testing clinic at the Augusta Armory starting next Monday. Appointments will be required. Details on how to sign up will be posted to the state's testing website in the coming days.