Rapid antigen tests can help identify ‘infectious’ individuals irrespective of their symptomatic status for community surveillance. Rapid tests were successfully piloted in the Bay Area of northern California by our mentor Joseph DeRisi, co-founder of the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, in partnership with the Latino Task Force. While PCR testing is the gold-standard for COVID-19, frequent rapid antigen tests can help identify who might be infectious within a short 15-minute window.
The Chelsea City Hall has seen numerous shutdowns of individual departments based on a member of that department testing positive for COVID-19. We are working directly with City Hall to administer an FDA-EUA rapid antigen test for employees twice a week. We hope to expand rapid antigen tests for residents and businesses of Chelsea in the future.
Each employee gets an antigen test at the entrance of City Hall twice a week. In case they test positive, they are encouraged to get a confirmatory PCR test (1 block away) and asked to begin quarantining. Results are also reported to the state’s COVID-19 case system.