Have library access?
  • Journals
  • OpenAccess

Guidelines for COVID-19 Laboratory Testing for Emergency Departments From the New Diagnostic Technology Team of the Taiwan Society of Emergency Medicine


COVID-19 tests have different turnaround times (TATs), accuracy levels, and limitations, which emergency physicians should be aware of. Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) can be divided into standard high throughput tests and rapid molecular diagnostic tests at the point of care (POC). The standard NAAT has the advantages of high throughput and high accuracy with a TAT of 3-4 hours. The POC molecular test has the same advantages of high accuracy as standard high throughput PCR, but can be done in 13-45 minutes. Roche cobas Liat is the most commonly used machine in Taiwan, displaying 99%-100% sensitivity and 100% specificity, respectively. Abbott ID NOW is an isothermal PCR-based POC machine with a sensitivity of 79% and a specificity of 100%. A high rate of false positives and false negatives is associated with rapid antigen testing. Antibody testing is mostly used as part of public health surveys and for testing for immunity.