There is a risk of false results associated with the Curative self-administered oral swab test for COVID-19, according to recent FDA guidance. In particular, there is a risk of false-negative results, meaning it might not pick up COVID-19 even for those who have the virus.
Sonoma County currently partners with Curative at five weekly locations, including Healdsburg.
In these self-administered oral swab tests, patients are asked to follow instructions closely for an accurate test: Cough three times, swish the spit in their mouths, then rub a cotton swab around their gums, cheeks and tongue to minimize the chance of a false-negative result.
So, for now, the County is recommending that Curative sites be used by those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. It may not be the best test for people who have no symptoms. No diagnostic test is perfect, but it’s critical for residents to take the test that best fits their current health condition. The County has many other free, convenient testing options (that use nasal swabs) for those who do not have COVID-19 symptoms.
Options can be found at https://socoemergency.org/emergency/novel-coronavirus/testing-and-tracing/ and include:
- OptumServe: Locations are the Bluebird Community Center in Windsor, the Jockey Club at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, and Herzog Hall at the Petaluma Fairgrounds.
- LHI Mobile Unit: Sonoma County is sharing this bus with Solano County and it will be available two or three days each week at Sonoma Memorial Veteran’s Hall.
- Neighborhood Testing: Federally qualified health clinics Centers (FQHC). Six weekly sites in partnership with local clinics. ]
- Neighborhood Testing: Department of Health Services (DHS). Two Sonoma County sites with four more being planned will give County residents six weekly events that focus on testing essential workers and neighborhood members. Bilingual, bi-cultural staff will be on-hand to support residents.
If you have received a negative result from a Curative test taken at a time you were not experiencing symptoms and you've been in contact with someone who has tested positive, or you thereafter experience COVID-19 symptoms, Sonoma County recommends getting re-tested for COVID-19. County health officials are engaging with Curative as it resolves FDA’s concerns at its testing sites in Sonoma County.
Since the County will have access to Curative’s testing results, it will compare those results with previous results from County testing to better learn about the potential for false negatives. Curative is one of dozens of companies that quickly produced coronavirus tests and obtained emergency authorization from the FDA once the agency announced that it was easing normal regulatory standards early in the pandemic.
For more information, go to: https://socoemergency.org/emergency/novel-coronavirus/testing-and-tracing/
In addition, the County issued a recent press release on expanded COVID-19 testing: https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/CAO/Press-Releases/County-of-Sonoma-increases-COVID-19-testing-opportunities/