How Pennsylvania is planning for the spread of coronavirus Wochit
As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases rises, a shortage of testing continues to stunt the United States’ battle against COVID-19.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. rose over 20,000 and at least 278 deaths, as of Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Some labs have run short on the kits and components needed to determine whether samples taken from sick patients confirm the presence of the novel coronavirus.
But starting Monday, at-home test kits will be available from the digital health company, Everlywell. The company believes it would be able to handle 250,000 cases a week, reports Time magazine.
Everlywell is an Austin-based home testing company that offers consumers tests for anything from cholesterol levels to fertility to STDs.
So here’s everything you need to know if you want to get your hands on one of these.
Who can get a test?
According to the company’s website, to access a COVID-19 test, consumers can go to www.everlywell.com where they will be asked to complete a screening questionnaire, based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. The answers will then be reviewed to determine if a person qualifies for testing.
How much will it cost?
The tests will cost $135, at no profit to Everlywell, according to the company. They noted that the price will be covered by HSA and FSA providers, but it’s unclear at this time if consumers will have to pay upfront and wait to be reimbursed later.
How quickly will the test come after it’s ordered?
If approved for a kit, Time reports that a customer will receive the test in two days, but overnight shipping is available for an additional fee.
Are at-home tests reliable?
Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine discussed the new tests at her Sunday briefing.
She warned that at-home tests could provide false negative or false positive results, and that to be on the safe side, people should only use tests that have been approved by the FDA.
How does it work?
The test kit includes swab-based collection equipment and shipping materials to ensure safe transport of samples and prevent any possible risk to mail carriers.
The samples are then tested at labs certified under the FDA Emergency Use Authorization, and results will be available on a website within 48 hours.
Anyone who tests positive will be connected with a physician, and the company will report positive cases to federal and state reporting agencies as required by mandate.
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