#Roommates, as we all continue to adjust to #QuarantineLife hoping for some light at the end of the tunnel—it appears that some help may be on the way. According to new reports, the first U.S. company, has officially announced its plans to distribute at-home coronavirus test kits beginning in just a few days.
Austin, Texas-based company Everlywell, a home testing company that offers dozens of lab tests, will be the first company in the U.S. to make at-home testing kits available for the coronavirus, according to @TIME. In even more good news, the tests will be available on March 23rd. The at-home COVID-19 test can be ordered via the Everlywell website after first answering questions about your basic health, symptoms and risk factors for the coronavirus disease. The test can be sent out in two days for $135 or for $30 more you can receive your test overnight. Everlywell says it has 30,000 COVID-19 tests ready to ship, with plans to expand the number of labs processing the samples.
However, a doctor will still need to prescribe the test, so virtual doctors from PWNHealth, which is an online national network of physicians who prescribe diagnostic tests, will then review your answers to determine if you are qualified for testing as determined by the CDC. Since coronavirus tests are not plentiful at the moment, doctors are only ordering tests for those who have symptoms and other risk factors for infection, such as being in close contact with those who have been diagnosed.
The coronavirus test kit comes with a swab that is long enough to take samples from the back of the nose and throat area, along with instructions for how to seal the swab sample to send it back to the company. Users can also provide both spit and sputum samples.
The sample is sent in a pre-paid overnight package, and processed at one of several labs approved by the FDA to perform the test around the country within 72 hours. As with many of the commercially available tests, this one extracts SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19, from the sample and then probes for specific genetic signatures of the virus.
Due to the increased need for testing, Everlywell’s first kits will contain only one swab, and be limited to one per household until the supply of swabs becomes more plentiful.
Roommates, what are your thoughts on this?