November 16, 2020 by Austin McDaniel What type of COVID-19 diagnostic test does Alaska accept for travelers? There are currently two different types of diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19: molecular tests that detect the virus’s genetic material and antigen tests that detect specific proteins on the surface of the virus. Alaska only accepts the molecular-based test type. Antigen tests are not accepted because they are more likely to miss an active coronavirus infection compared to molecular tests. Antibody (serology) tests are not accepted because they do not provide evidence of current infection. A molecular-based SARS-CoV-2 test is any of a number of tests that detect the presence of viral RNA (genes), such as reverse transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (rt-PCR, e.g. Cepheid GeneXpert, KIngFisher System, ABI 7500 system), Transcription Mediated Amplification (TMA, e.g. the Hologic Panther system), and Isothermal Nucleic Acid Amplification (e.g. Abbott ID-NOW). Alaska accepts results from FDA-approved home self-test swab kits.