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Should we use rapid COVID tests before gatherings?
- By Toni Golen, MD, Contributor, and
- Hope Ricciotti, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Women's Health Watch
Ask the doctors
Q. My family members want to get together for a party this holiday season. Would it reduce our risk of COVID if we all agreed to take an over-the-counter rapid test in the morning before coming to the event?
A. It’s possible that this approach might help reduce the likelihood that someone who is infected comes to the gathering. An August research letter published online by JAMA Network Open showed that direct antigen rapid tests, which can be purchased at your local drugstore, may have some value in helping to quickly identify people who have COVID before they expose others.
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