COVID-19 testing is one of the most important defenses we have in the fight against the pandemic. Thankfully there are multiple ways you can get tested for COVID-19. One of the most convenient ways is by using a COVID at home test kit. However, these at home antigen tests for COVID-19 are in short supply and may be difficult to come by. In this article we will explain how at home COVID-19 testing works and list where you can find these tests both for purchase and free of charge.
COVID-19 at home (sometimes called self tests, or over-the-counter (OTC) tests) are an additional way to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 to others in your community. These tests allow you to test yourself at home or any other fairly isolated environment. For example, you should not take these at home tests in a public space. Self administered COVID-19 tests are easy to use, and produce rapid results.Anyone can use these self administered tests regardless of vaccination status, or whether or not you have symptoms. If you want to learn more about the symptoms of a COVID-19 infection you should consult the CDC’s coronavirus symptoms checker.
Every at home COVID-19 test is different, but all testing kits should be fairly simple to use and come with clear directions from the test manufacturer. All models of the at home COVID-19 tests require you to swab your nose to collect mucus to test that sample for traces of SARS-CoV-2 viral load.
According to the CDC, if you receive a positive self-test result from your at home COVID-19 then you are very likely to be infected and should follow the current CDC guidelines for isolation. Additionally, you should connect with anyone you have been in close contact with and notify them of their exposure.
On the opposite end, if you receive a negative self-test result then you are not likely to be infected. If you know you have been recently exposed or if you have symptoms you should continue to minimize your contact with others and follow all other risk-reduction measures such as wearing a mask and social distancing. Additionally, you should pursue a PCR COVID-19 test as soon as possible to confirm your results.
For more information about at home COVID-19 testing visit the CDC’s website.
As of January 15th 2022, the Biden Harris Administration made it so anyone with a health insurance plan can receive an at-home COVID-19 testing kit either free of charge directly at the point of sale or through reimbursement. If you are charged, you will need to keep your receipt and submit a claim to your insurance company for reimbursement.
For more information on how to get an at home covid test kit for free or how to be reimbursed through your insurance, visit CMS.gov.
There are many different brands of at home covid test including Binax, On/Go, iHeath, and more. Any pharmacy should carry at home COVID-19 tests or you can use Amazon.com to find at home COVID-19 testing kits. However, since demand is high, at home COVID-19 tests are often out of stock. In addition to purchasing at home COVID tests from a retailer, the government is also offering to ship four free at home testing kits to every household in America. You can sign up for your four free tests through the CDC website. Keep in mind that it takes 4-12 days for these tests to ship so if you need results quickly, you should pursue an antigen test or a PCR test at one of your local testing sites.
Here are the links to various retailer and pharmacy web pages where you can obtain an at home COVID-19 test:
Although at home COVID-19 testing kits are convenient and desirable, they are in short supply and many people cannot find them easily. Additionally, at home rapid tests are great screening tools, but to be 100% certain of the status of your health PCR COVID-19 tests are considered to be the gold standard. With over 20 years of testing experience, BioCollections is committed to making communities safer. Our fast and efficient COVID-19 testing process takes the stress out of testing and puts your mind at ease – we deliver results for our PCR tests in 24 hours. To learn more about our testing process, visit our website or contact us directly.