As a precaution, the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services will discontinue using the Curative COVID-19 PCR test at county-supported pop-up testing sites.
The change, which will take place this week, comes after a review of the data that prompted the recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration alert about the possibility of false-negative results.
Curative provided a limited number of tests at county-supported pop-up testing sites beginning in mid-December. Between Dec. 13, 2020, and Jan. 2, 2021, 24,241 Curative tests were administered at those sites. That made up about 10% of all COVID-19 tests administered at county-supported test sites during that same time frame.
The Curative tests will be replaced with Fulgent Genetics tests.
All COVID-19 tests have a risk of false-negative results, which means that you may test negative when you actually have COVID-19. That is because the sensitivity depends on how well the sample was collected and the concentration of viral RNA in the sample. There is no reliable way to detect early infection, meaning that infection often spreads before symptoms develop. Nevertheless, PCR tests, including the Curative test, remain better at detecting disease than other tests, including rapid tests.
If you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19, Public Health officials encourage you to get tested. Call your health care provider for a COVID-19 test. If you cannot get a test through a health care provider, find a test site near you through the L.A. County testing website.
Even if you test negative, it is critically important to self-isolate for 14 days after exposure or 10 days after symptoms start. You may still have COVID-19 and spread it to others.
Please continue to follow public health guidance to protect yourself and others: stay home whenever possible, wear a face covering that covers your nose and mouth, avoid gatherings, and wash your hands often.
To learn more about COVID-19 testing in L.A. County, visit covid19.lacounty.gov/testing.