“At Home coronavirus test kits” are now available online to prevent or slow down the spread of the virus. During the first few months of this coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19 test options were not easily available. You needed a physician’s orders to get analyzed and to get those requests, you had to meet specific criteria, such as with a fever and showing other COVID-19 symptoms.
The US isn’t struggling as much today with a lack of coronavirus test kits and related supplies, thanks partially to the start of at-home testing. These home coronavirus test kits– of which there are now eight approved for use — remove the need for a person who is feeling ill to visit a testing site or doctor’s practice, which means fewer people are vulnerable to the virus.
Over half a year into the pandemic, testing remains a vital element of slowing the spread. It recognizes people who are carrying the virus, those who are ill, and those who aren’t showing any signs. Once people understand that they’re infected, they could take the appropriate measures to prevent others from avoiding exposure.
Medical testing companies began developing coronavirus home test kits back in March. Although the Food and Drug Administration was slow to authorize them warning users of potentially fraudulent tests. Since the pandemic wore on, the FDA started allotting emergency use authorizations, or EUAs, to increase the overall number of available tests. As of October, just about everyone can purchase an at-home coronavirus test with just a couple of clicks.
Here’s what to learn about at-home evaluation kits, the FDA’s position, and how to get tested if you have signs of COVID-19 or believe you have been exposed.
At-Home Coronavirus Test Kits Options Available
There are presently two kinds of tests available for home usage: saliva tests and swab tests.
Much like having a DNA test, saliva analyses have you spit into a container, close it, and send it to a lab. These evaluations aren’t invasive and can quickly be done at home, which can help protect medical care experts from being vulnerable to the coronavirus at testing sites and reduce personal protective equipment requirements.
On Apr. 13, the FDA conferred Rutgers University’s RUCDR Infinite Biologics biorepository emergency permission for a new approach. It was designed to examine saliva samples to the coronavirus. It was not until May 8 that the FDA allowed Rutgers Clinical Genomics Laboratory to analyze saliva samples collected in the coronavirus home, utilizing collection kits from Spectrum Solutions. This had been the first at-home diagnostic test utilizing saliva samples, and it primarily could only be obtained with a prescription from a physician. Now, all you’ve got to do is have an assessment that asks about your symptoms.
Following that authorization by the FDA, two firms, 1Health and Vault Health. Io (the parent company of Vitagene) declared plans to market the saliva tests for at-home use under supervision from a physician through telemedicine. Both evaluations are now available without telemedical approval.
Saliva tests are not much invasive, less embarrassing, and pose less risk for medical care providers — so why did it take so long to approve them? The FDA required to be sure that the samples could offer the same precision as nasal swabs. Regarding concerns over the way the saliva tests function compared to nasal swabs, the research is promising.
Yale Public Health experts published preliminary research in April that showed saliva tests were equally accurate — and occasionally more real — than rectal swab tests. Since that time, more studies have replicated and confirmed these findings.
Swab tests need you to swab the inside of your cheek or nose to collect a sample that could be examined for the coronavirus. Since many swab tests at testing sites collect a piece from deep in your nasal passage, at-home models are less invasive.
The FDA approved the first at-home evaluation kit, Pixel, by LabCorp, on Apr. 21. The FDA worked with LabCorp to develop the test and said it is as same as a sample obtained by a health care provider. The test is done with a special swab enclosed in the kit, which the patient uses to have a piece out of the nasal passage, and then you mail back your sample to LabCorp.
Initially, this test required a physician’s orders to buy, but it’s since become available to everybody who takes a brief assessment.
At-Home Coronavirus Tests You Can Purchase Now.
This was the first at-home coronavirus test awarded a EUA in the FDA, and it is now the only one that does not need an up-front price. You can opt to pay for this test with a credit card, though otherwise, LabCorp will cover your insurance for the price tag. If you do not have insurance and can not pay for the test, LabCorp utilizes allocated federal funds to pay the test’s price.
LetsGetChecked Provides an easy-to-use at-home coronavirus test kit, and you can use your flexible spending accounts or health savings account to pay for the price tag.
EverlyWell was among the first brands to launch its at-home coronavirus test kit. It immediately pivoted into a health professionals-only test and then rereleased its kit to the public after the FDA allowed EverlyWell a EUA. You’ll have to cover this test upfront, but you can pay with an HSA or FSA and submit your receipt to your health insurance.
Vault originally released its at-home evaluation to sign that you required supervision from a telehealth physician, but you can buy the test after taking the online symptom screening. You’ll need to complete an additional medical questionnaire after buying the company’s evaluation to send the kit.
Vault requires upfront payment for their at-home coronavirus test, but they take FSAs and HSAs as payment forms. You could even get an itemized receipt for insurance reimbursement.
Like EverlyWell and Vitagene, you can pay for a Vitagene at-home coronavirus test with your HSA or FSA and submit an application to your insurance if you don’t have an FSA or HSA.
Picture by Fulgent Genetics
Fulgent Genetics, the maker of this picture coronavirus test, requires you to have a screening and then register for an account, so a doctor can authorize your test. This test requires an up-front payment, but you might have the ability to submit your receipt for insurance reimbursement.
Hims and Hers
The at-home tests from His and Hers, two branches of the same telehealth firm, require you to undergo a digital medical consultation before buying the test, so a medical care provider can help you decide whether the test is ideal for you. Hims and Hers take some kinds of insurance, which could cover the price of your test.
Phosphorus is very clear about the price breakdown of its $150 at-home COVID-19 test. Additionally, it offers several ways to cover your test. In addition to presenting a detailed receipt to your insurance for reimbursement, Phosphorous provides flexible financing options for men and women that think they have to get tested but can not afford the test.
The First Rapid At-Home Coronavirus Test
You could definitely consider all the above at-home evaluations to be rapid — getting back your results within days is fairly quickly — but something even faster could be available to customers shortly.
Axios reported on Sept. 16 that two companies, Cellex and Gauss, are teaming up to manufacture the first fast-results at-home coronavirus test for the general public. This test would provide you results in moments, and there would be no need to send back your sample to a laboratory.
The FDA has not approved or approved this evaluation, but it may happen if Gauss and Cellex can demonstrate that their product is true and assist the larger coronavirus fight.
What About Antibody Tests?
Antibody tests are a totally different class of medical tests. An antibody test analyses to see whether you’ve had the novel coronavirus before instead of checking for present infection. When you get ill with an infectious virus, your immune system produces antibodies to fight off the disease.
No one really understands what a positive COVID-19 antibody test means yet (by way of instance, we do not know whether it means you’re resistant to SARS-CoV-2), but collecting antibody data today helps scientists that study viral infections such as COVID-19.
In June, the FDA issued warning letters to three firms claiming to make antibody tests for COVID-19, stating that no FDA-authorized antibody tests were available then.
As of October, no companies now supply an accredited at-home antibody test for the novel coronavirus. Three home health companies, Scanwell, Imaware, and Phosphorus, have antibody tests coming shortly.
The Imaware test has been approved to be used under an FDA EUA, based on the site. Scanwell is working with another firm, Lemonaid Health, to develop and distribute its evaluation, which the brands aspire to submit for FDA authorization. In the end, Phosphorus has informed the FDA of its at-home antibody test and data and is awaiting FDA authorization.
How to Get Analyzed In Person
For many people, the only way to acquire a test is with a physician’s consent. That includes people who believe they’ve been exposed but have no signs. You may try to contact a testing center in your region for a test, but the availability and eligibility are dependent upon where you live.
The best action to take if you or somebody you know is feeling ill is to call your physician so that they can determine if you’ve symptoms of COVID-19. If your doctor determines you will need to be examined, they will order a test, and you can visit a drive-through testing center to make it. A physician may also order an at-home evaluation for you, which is sent to you. If that’s the case, you will collect the sample and be responsible for sending it back to the laboratory.
It’s important to avoid going to a physician’s office, urgent care, or ER if you have symptoms that match the coronavirus since you can expose healthcare workers and people who are at risk of becoming fatally ill.
The exception to this is if you’ve any emergency warning symptoms for COVID-19, which require immediate medical care. These may include shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, continuous pain or pressure in the heart, new confusion, inability to excite, and bluish lips or face. If you can call the hospital to inform them you’re coming, try to do this so that they can prepare appropriately.
Steps to Follow After Being Tested
If you have symptoms of COVID-19:
- While awaiting the results of your test, your family contacts should remain at home. (If family contacts are health care workers, they are encouraged to speak to their employer. They may nevertheless be permitted to work while wearing a mask).
- Stay in a particular area and away from other people in your own residence to the extent possible. Use another toilet, if available. Household members can think about staying in another place, if available, to reduce their risk of exposure.
- To learn more, see the CDC’s advice on preventing the spread of COVID-19 at home.
- If you have to leave home, such as to seek medical attention, wear a surgical mask if available.
- If your results are favorable, you’ll have to isolate for 10 days from the time your symptoms began.
If you are awaiting the results of a routine screening test:
If you’re awaiting results from regular screening but have no symptoms, you might go back to work under the advice of your employer (except otherwise ordered by the Mississippi State Department of Health).
Monitor your Wellness
Get an adequate amount of rest, stay hydrated, and, if desired, take medicine to lower your fever.
If your symptoms worsen and you want to look for health care, call ahead and inform the supplier you have been tested for COVID-19. This will help the health care provider’s office prevent other people from becoming exposed or infected.
Practice Healthy Habits
- Cover your cough, or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue.
- Clean your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water aren’t available.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects regularly, including your mobile phone.
Guidance For Your Family Contacts
- While awaiting your test results, your family contacts should remain at home if you have symptoms of COVID-19.
- They shouldn’t go to school or work and should avoid all public areas.
- If your results are positive, your family contacts must immediately quarantine themselves for 14 days.
- Household contacts must monitor fever, cough, and shortness of breath and contact their healthcare provider with symptoms. If they need medical evaluation, they ought to call the hospital or health clinic before they visit.
- If your results are negative (or not diagnosed)
Continue To Lower Your Chance Of Sickness:
- Isolate yourself till fever-free for at least 48 hours (if strain was present)
- Following social distancing
- Clean your hands
- Avoid non-essential outings
Returning To Work After Quarantine Or Isolation
If you got a State Health Officer’s Order to isolate or quarantine yourself, this Order should suffice as the appropriate documentation to come back to work (if necessary or requested). The Mississippi State Department of Health doesn’t offer any other kind of return-to-work documentation for any person.
If you’re issued isolation/quarantine orders, make sure to keep a copy of the orders in case documentation is necessary to go back to work.