March 21, 2020 By TheNewYorkNews
SarsCov20: the First U.S. Company Has Announced an Upcoming Home COVID-19 Test
Given the increasing number of people in need, the Food and Drug Administration allowed certified labs, including commercial lab testing companies, to develop and distribute COVID-19 tests on Feb. 29.
Though other private companies have been involved with creating tests for COVID-19, this is the first company to offer its test directly to consumers.
The Austin, Texas company Everlywell previously sold home lab tests for things like cholesterol levels, allergies, fertility and even STDs. Now, Time Magazine reports they’ve developed an at-home coronavirus test kit.
Currently, because COVID-19 tests are not plentiful in the U.S., doctors are trying to rule out other respiratory diseases like flu first, and only ordering tests for people with symptoms who also have other risk factors for infection, such as being in close contact with others who have been diagnosed.
Starting on March 23 the company will begin retailing the kits for $135 and shipping them directly to customers’ homes.
People can order the Everlywell COVID-19 test on the company’s website, after first answering questions about their basic health, symptoms and risk factors for the coronavirus disease.
But only after a telemedicine doctor prescribes it after viewing the customer’s reported symptoms, the New York Post reports.
The at-home COVID-19 testing kit will arrive at a customer’s house in about two days from order. It includes swab collection equipment, an overnight shipping label and additional shipping materials to ensure that transporting the sample back to FDA-approved labs to be processed is safe for the mail carriers handling the packages, reports Oregon Live.
Test results will then be made securely available online within 48 hours.
People who receive positive tests will be connected with certified telemedicine doctors for guidance, and Everlywell will send confirmed positive cases to federal and state reporting agencies as mandated.
Everlywell confirmed to TechCrunch that its at-home kit’s accuracy and efficacy has been validated by numerous peer-reviewed medical studies, and will increase the number of people getting tested, while decreasing risk of transmission to emergency medical workers.
The company plans to eventually have the capacity to test and diagnose up to 250,000 people each week, reports KXAN.