COVID is still around (close to 100 people are hospitalized with COVID in NH every day and that figure is not going down, as my chart shows) and we’re still learning how to deal with it.

The feds have issued new guidelines (yeah, I know, but they’re the best we’ve got) about rapid tests. The key point: We often use them too early. We do the whole shove-a-stick-up-your-nose thing when we feel sick, for obvious reasons, but symptoms might be the result of our immune system reaction to a relatively small viral load early in the illness. That load could be too small to be detected by rough-and-ready rapid tests.

Because of this, the FDA now recommends so-called serial testing: If you think you’ve been infected with the coronavirus but test negative, test again in 48 hours, after the virus has had more time to replicate. If you’re still negative, take one more test in another two days.

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