Rapid antigen tests have recently emerged and offer significant improvement for near patient turn-around-time. Rapid antigen testing is limited to laboratories certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) that meet the requirements to perform moderate, high or waived complexity tests. Testing is authorized for use at the Point of Care (POC), i.e., in patient care settings operating under a CLIA Certificate of Waiver, Certificate of Compliance, or Certificate of Accreditation. Providers and health systems performing antigen tests must coordinate with the NM Department of Health (NMDOH) to report ALL test results performed utilizing rapid antigen test platforms to the NMDOH.

Although there is limited data on the various platforms, rapid antigen tests have acceptable performance when used under the following conditions:
• Analysis is performed in a CLIA certified laboratory
• Testing is performed on symptomatic patients ONLY
• Test is performed within 7 days after symptom onset
• Direct/dry nasal or nasopharyngeal swab is placed into test provided vial containing extraction buffer and/or tested directly

At this time, there is no evidence to support the use of rapid antigen tests in the following populations:
• Asymptomatic individuals
• Asymptomatic contacts of symptomatic patients
• Surveillance testing

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