How Reliable Are At-Home COVID Tests?

How Reliable Are At Home COVID Tests?

( – The pandemic isn’t over yet, and an increasing number of people are seeking access to fast, convenient, reliable tests. Testing sites have been set up all over the country for our convenience, but who wants to get in line with a bunch of other potentially sick people to find out whether they’ve been infected?

At-home tests have been available for several months, according to GoodRX, but some people have had questions about their accuracy. Let’s take a look at the available info.

A Variety of Tests

All COVID-19 at-home tests currently use samples from either nasal swabs or saliva. The following tests use swab samples:

  • Everlywell is $109 per kit, and results are available online 24-48 hours after the lab receives the sample.
  • LetsGetChecked costs $109, with results 24-72 hours after receipt. This company advertises gentle nasal swabbing that is less invasive than other tests.
  • Picture by Fulgent Genetics is also $119 and has a similar turnaround.
  • Pixel by LabCorp is $119, and because it goes through a nationally accredited lab, users can have the company bill their insurance companies for kits.
  • The United States Postal Service is now offering 2 sets of 4 FREE COVID-19 at-home nasal swab rapid tests. Results are available within 30 minutes. These tests ship free to your home.

Saliva tests are also available:

  • Vitagene costs $89, and results are usually available within 72 hours of reaching the lab.
  • P23 Labs costs $99, and these tests require a doctor’s authorization before users can begin.
  • Vault is $90 per kit, and it requires users to perform their tests while on supervised Zoom calls.

Not all tests are approved for Hawaii travel clearance. Check with each lab for updates on restrictions.

FDA Confusion

The main issue with these tests is the fact that not all home tests are FDA-approved. The agency has granted emergency use authorization (EUA) for at-home tests, but authorization isn’t the same as approval. These tests all claim high accuracy rates, and the feedback so far has been positive, but without that highly coveted seal of approval, their figures could be arbitrary. However, you can now check the FDA website to see which tests have received FDA approval.

The Bottom Line

Fast, accurate COVID-19 testing is important, but in the wake of 2020 and all we’ve weathered, convenience and safety are also at the top of most people’s lists. We may not know the full story on many of the tests that have recently become available, but right now, we need to use whatever resources we can to get through this pandemic. With those and other factors in mind, at-home testing might be an ideal option for many of us.

~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension

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