CDC Covid-19 PCR Tests – what’s going on?

Collab post with Science Whiz Liz and Fueled by Science

The CDC is phasing out the old PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and recommending a newer multi-plex test. They issued a Lab Alert on July 21, 2021 informing testing labs. Labs are being given until Dec 31, 2021 (4 months) to transition. Then, the CDC will withdraw its emergency use request. The old test is a “single-plex” test. One sample, one answer: Is there any SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA? If yes, the test is positive and indicates COVID-19. If no, then another sample may need to be collected to test for influenza. The new test is a “multi-plex” test. One sample, three answers:

1) Is there any SARS-CoV-2 RNA?

2) Is there any influenza A RNA?

3) Is there any influenza B RNA?

It’s a three-fer!- The CDC wants to track both COVID-19 and flu (influenza) this season and beyond. Urging labs to use a multi-plex test (3 for 1) it saves resources and gives the CDC more flu data. The newer test is a win-win for the CDC. It gives them more data for every test collected.

The rumors going around are FAKE NEWS. The test was NOT withdrawn because it was “wrong” and couldn’t distinguish between COVID-19 and flu. It absolutely can. The flu was not mistakenly diagnosed as COVID-19. The new test is simply an upgrade and a lot more efficient!