FDA Approves Over-the-Counter Covid Tests: Here's How These Home Testing Kits Work

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You can now take a Covid test from the safety and convenience of home. The FDA has approved a single-use testing kit from online wellness company, Everlywell, which lets you collect a sample, mail it into a lab and have results delivered in as little as 24 hours.

Once reserved for high-risk individuals or those with a medical note, the Everlywell Covid-19 Test Home Collection Kit is now available for public purchase, to help detect SARS-CoV-2 infection in adults over the age of 18. The kit uses a lower nasal swab that the company says is “designed to be easy and noninvasive for effective self-collection from home.” The self-administered test can be completed in minutes.

Everlywell

Buy:Everlywell Covid-19 Home Collection Kitat$109

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Order your Covid testing kit online now at Everlywell.com and you’ll receive a discreet box with a cotton swab, collection tube, postage-paid return envelope and sample collection instructions.

Place the swab about an inch into your nose and rotate it 3-4 times around the inner wall. Repeat the process using the same swab tip on the other nostril. Seal the swab inside the included collection tube, and return it to a designated overnight shipping location. Everlywell says you must drop off your sample on the same day you collect it, for most accurate results.

Complete a simple health intake survey and register an email at Everlywell.com. You’ll then receive your Covid test results online within 24-48 hours of the lab receiving your sample. Whether you test positive for SARS-CoV-2 or not, the site can connect you to a healthcare professional to go over your results further and help with next steps.

Everlywell has been offering at-home health and wellness tests for a few years now (think food sensitivity tests, heart health monitoring and thyroid tests), and the company got the green light from the FDA to offer home Covid tests last May, under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) order. But those tests were limited to people with symptoms, and they had to be screened by a doctor in order to purchase a testing kit.

The FDA has now eased restrictions so that anyone can purchase an Everlywell Covid test over the counter, whether you’re symptomatic or asymptomatic.

This Everlywell Covid home collection kit costs $109 on Everlywell.com, although the site has an offer right now that gets you 35% off, bringing the price of the Covid test kit down to $70. Use promo code SPRING at checkout. Offer ends March 28.

Everlywell says the cost of the test may be reimbursed depending on your health insurance provider. You’ll want to note that Everlywell is not enrolled in the Medicare program and this test is ineligible for Medicare reimbursement.

This kit is also not designed to treat or diagnose people experiencing severe illnesses or symptoms. You’ll want to see a doctor or go to the hospital if you feel sick.

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