Free at-home COVID tests shipping soon: Here’s what you should know
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Testing for COVID will be at the doorstep of people’s homes soon enough.
The United States Postal Service is set to start shipping at-home COVID tests to people who sign up on the government’s COVIDtests.gov webpage. Those tests will be shipped by the end of January.
The White House announced the plan about a month ago.
While at-home COVID tests return results in minutes and makes it easy to self-test, local doctors said there’s a chance the virus can still spread if people don’t follow the proper precautions when testing.
”The fact that you’re able to test and get a result, that can help guide your behavior,” Dr. Mark Burns, UofL Infectious Disease Specialist said.
He said that’s the goal behind shipping at-home COVID tests to people’s homes.
Since omicron showing up in Louisville-area communities, testing has been in demand. Long waits and PCR test laboratories take days to return results.
”It’s difficult for everyone right now, if you start to have symptoms or an exposure,” Natasha Sanders, Nurse at Family Health Center in Portland said. “People don’t know where to test and testing is backed up a lot.”
According to the White House administration, one set of four tests will be delivered per household. Doctor Ken Burns says when the test arrives, it’s imperative to follow the instructions on the box.
“On the test strip that you get, those are antibodies in there,” Burns said. “When you take your material, you’re exposing those to the antibodies that are there. If those antigens from your test get exposed to those antibodies and should cause a reaction.”
According to doctors, if a test returns negative but the test taker has symptoms, the patient should assume they have COVID, get a PCR test and quarantine.
For asymptomatic people who test and return with a negative result, it’s necessary to test again within 24 to 48 hours.
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