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Local doctor says the health care field is confident with COVID-19 tests overall

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(KTIV) - Many of you have questions, and you continue to share them with us, as Siouxland and the world continue to battle COVID-19.

KTIV's Matt Breen was joined by Dr. Sabrina Martinez with Buena Vista Regional Medical Center to answer those questions.

"We’ve heard some stories of false negative test results. How confident can people be in the results they’re getting? And even if they test negative, should someone stay quarantined for 14 days?" asked Matt.

"We have seen some false positives and false negatives out there. There are a variety of tests available right now and they vary in their quality, meaning how many false positives and false negatives we get," said Dr. Martinez.

"Overall in the health care field, we're pretty confident with the positive tests, that they are truly positive. Unfortunately with some of the negative test results we see, they can be false negatives, they also can be done too early. For instance, if you were exposed on Saturday, you may be testing negative on Tuesday or even Wednesday. But then testing positive on Thursday, meanwhile spreading the virus unknowingly to other people," said Dr. Martinez.

"Timing is important, if you need to be quarantined for whatever reason it is important to follow the CDC guidelines and quarantine for the full 14 days," said Dr. Martinez.

"It sounds like some families will be getting together for the holiday, despite the warning from medical professionals. What else do health care workers needs citizens to know right now? What could another surge of cases potentially mean?" asked Matt.

"We get it, it's hard to be away from family right now, especially with the holidays, especially after everything we've gone through this year. Health care workers for sure know that missing holidays happen. We've missed many holidays over the years, working in hospitals and nursing homes taking care of others, so we get that it's hard. But now more than ever we're asking for the public's help to do their part. So if you are getting together with people outside your home, outside who you live with, it's important to know that is still a risky activity and there is risk associated with that." said Dr. Martinez.

"We're trying to take care of everyone we need to. That's COVID-19 patients and that is people suffering from heart attacks and strokes and everything else," said Dr. Martinez.

"Dr. Sabrina Martinez with the Buena Vista Medical Center. Dr. Martinez we appreciate your insight tonight." said Matt.

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Dean Welte

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