Can You Test for Coronavirus at Home?


The recent Coronavirus outbreak has prompted health experts and scientists to develop a test kit that will help in the fast detection of the virus. Due to the rising number of Coronavirus patients every day, people are asking if there are ways to test themselves at home.

So, is it possible to get tested for Coronavirus at home? The answer is no. As of today, March 26, 2019, the FDA has not authorized any company to provide such tests. For now, it is not possible to get tested for the virus at home. If you are experiencing symptoms of the virus, the best thing that you can do is to immediately visit your local health center or hospital to get tested.

However, the release of FDA approved home testing kits may be imminent. Make sure to follow CDC’s official page on COVID-19 to be up to date.

Beware of Coronavirus scams, including online offers for vaccinations and home test kits. The FTC has issued a guide designed to protect consumers, revealing such scams. Here’s the official document:

Coronavirus Scams: What the FTC is doing

home testing kit
Image by Ri Butov from Pixabay

If I cannot get tested at home, where can I go to undergo a coronavirus test? What happens during the testing? Is there a possibility of a home testing kit in the future?

Please note that we are not medical professionals, and nothing in this article is medical advice. You should immediately consult your doctor in case of any symptoms, doubts, or questions regarding Coronavirus. To stay up to date in regards to COVID-19, follow the official sources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – CDC official page

World Health Organization – WHO official page

Where Can I Go to Get Tested for Coronavirus?

You can go to hospitals or specialized laboratories to get tested for Coronavirus. You need to be observant of the symptoms that you feel, especially if your community has a positive record of Coronavirus.

Contact your local hospital and tell them that you are experiencing symptoms of the virus, and you want to get tested. Call ahead so that the health care provider can take the necessary steps to avoid other people from getting exposed or infected.

The CDC has provided a list of State and territorial department websites in all 50 states, 8 U.S. territories and freely associated states, and the District of Columbia. It will help you in finding a hospital that offers Coronavirus testing in your area. Check out the list here.

Is There A Possibility for a Coronavirus Home Testing Kit in the Future?

Yes, there is a possibility for Coronavirus home testing kits.

United States

There’s currently a rush and a frenzy by private laboratories to provide home testing kits to the public. Last week a few companies (Nurx, Carbon Health, and EverlyWell) have already announced the availability of such kits and were ready to take orders. However, on March 20 the FDA quickly stepped in with a warning to the public that “at this time, the FDA has not authorized any test that is available to purchase for testing yourself at home for COVID-19.

Apparently those companies acted in good faith, but there was some misinterpretation of the FDA’s guidelines. To clarify the situation, the FDA issued clarifying guidelines for test developers and labs regarding COVID-19 home testing kits.

Make sure you follow the official sources to find out if and when a home testing kit will be available. Here’s the CDC’s official page on COVID-19.

Another project that is funded by Bill Gates and his foundation is planning to offer home-testing kits in the Seattle area (source). The kits will allow people who are experiencing Coronavirus symptoms to swab their noses and send samples back for analysis.

The test results should be available in one to two days and shared with the local health officials who will notify those who have positive results. People can answer questions regarding their movements and contacts through online forms. It makes it easier for health officials to locate others who need to be tested or quarantined. Also, it makes tracking the virus and identifying hotspots much easier.

The leader of the Coronavirus response for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said that the goal is to process thousands of tests a day. The project is already in the works, but it is not clear when it will launch. There is a need for a software upgrade to handle the expected crush of requests. Also, they need to finalize a detailed questionnaire for people who request tests.

While the initial focus of the Coronavirus home testing kit will be the Seattle area, it could eventually expand statewide and beyond.

UK

The National Infection Service at Public Health England said the group had developed simple finger-prick tests that could soon be available. The tests are still being evaluated to make sure they’re effective, but there is no consensus on how soon that would be completed. Once rolled out to the public, the health workers would have priority and the general public shortly thereafter. One available to the public, the home kits will be sold through pharmacies and retailers like Amazon. (source)

Amazon and Gates Foundation to Deliver Coronavirus Test Kits to Seattle Homes

The good news is that Amazon and Gates foundation may team up to deliver test kits to Seattle homes, which can make home testing for Coronavirus possible. The discussion has been going on for weeks, so we need to watch out if this plan will push through or not.

Amazon Care offered the Bill & Melina Gates Foundation its assistance by using its logistics expertise to deliver home testing kits to people in the Seattle area. Specifically, Amazon Care offered to help come up with a delivery plan at no cost so that the kits would be delivered within a few hours. Involving Amazon in logistics can help speed up the process of finding out test results. (source)

✅ Video – Amazon to Deliver New Coronavirus Testing Kits

In the video below, the news about Amazon working on delivering Coronavirus test kits is reported. To help detect Coronavirus fast and to prevent further spread in the community, Amazon and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are teaming up to deliver Coronavirus home testing kits in the Seattle area. Using the kit, people will be able to test at home and there is no need to visit a hospital or laboratory. It is a more convenient way to get tested.

Due to the high demand for products like surgical face masks and N95 masks in the hope of preventing the spread of Coronavirus, many companies are taking advantage, claiming that their products can prevent or cure Coronavirus. Take note that there are currently no vaccines or drugs approved to treat the virus. You need to stay away from companies that claim that their products do so.

How Coronavirus Testing Is Done

The process of testing for Coronavirus usually involves taking a swab from deep in the patient’s nasal cavity to collect the cells from the back of the nose. You can also have your throat swabbed. Different approach to getting the specimen from the patient comes down to how scientists have developed the lab tests. The sample is sent to a lab where it gets tested. The result will determine if there is the presence of the virus in the patient’s cells.

Collecting the sample from a person is easy, but determining if the person is infected or not is more complicated. The available method is to look for the genetic material or RNA of the virus in the patient’s cells. It can take 24-72 hours to get the result. (source)

✅ Video – How to Test for New Coronavirus

In the video below, how to test for Coronavirus is discussed. It tackles the symptoms that one needs to watch out for. Coronavirus has symptoms like those of flu so you need to observe your body and go to the clinic for testing. Check out the video below for a more in-depth discussion.

Related Questions

Does Everyone Need to Be Tested?

According to CDC, Clinicians should use their judgment to determine if a patient has signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and whether the patient should be tested. Priorities for testing may include:

  • Hospitalized patients who have signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 in order to inform decisions related to infection control.
  • Other symptomatic individuals such as older adults and individuals with chronic medical conditions and/or an immunocompromised state may put them at higher risk for poor outcomes.
  • Any persons including healthcare personnel, who within 14 days of symptom onset had close contact with a suspect or laboratory-confirmed4 COVID-19 patient, or who have a history of travel from affected geographic areas5

It will be possible to test more people when more tests become available. (source)

What Are The Reasons to Get Tested for Coronavirus?

There are two main reasons to get tested for Coronavirus those are having symptoms and exposure to an infected person. The symptoms of the virus look a lot like the flu and common cold, so it takes a physician to determine if it is necessary to do a test. Recently, CDC allows anyone with Coronavirus symptoms to get tested as long as the doctor approves it.

How Does Coronavirus Get Detected?

The Coronavirus diagnostics occur through laboratory testing of the respiratory specimens and serum of the patient. Some strains of Coronavirus can cause the common cold, and a health care provider tests patients. The 2019-nCoV strain can only get detected at a public health laboratory and hospitals.

How to Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus?

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid exposure to the virus. To prevent the spread of nCov, the CDC released prevention steps and guidelines.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Conclusion

You have reached the end of this post that tackles the Coronavirus home testing kit. As the Coronavirus continues to spread, you need to be vigilant. Make sure that you are updated with the news and do preventive measures so that you can avoid getting infected with the virus. Watch out for any symptoms and talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any symptoms of Coronavirus. Thank you for reading!

Recent Content