COVID-19 tests: There’s an insurmountable backlog of virus tests. A rapid test could help.

“Every day they wait is another day they need to quarantine, or if they’re not, it’s another day they could be infecting other people,” Dr. Keith Jerome, who directs the molecular virology lab at the University of Washington medical school, said in an interview. “If you’re getting results within 20 minutes, you can start taking the appropriate actions right away.”

One of the more popular rapid tests, Abbott Labs’ ID NOW point-of-care test, which promises results in as little as five minutes and was once touted by the White House, came under fire in recent weeks after a small study found that it returned false negatives for nearly 50 percent of certain samples compared to a rival test.

NBC COVID-19 tests: There’s an insurmountable backlog of virus tests. A rapid test could help.