At home COVID-19 test available in the Heartland

Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 9:48 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - More than one year into the pandemic, at-home COVID-19 test kits are available at drug stores.

“I think it’s really great to have that at-home option,” said Maria Davis with the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center.

The Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test comes with two test swabs.

To administer it to yourself, you swab both nostrils for about 15 seconds each. Then, the test swab goes into a card, and you can check your results after 15 minutes.

It’s a quick and easy process, but Davis said it’s important to make sure you’re administering it correctly.

“It could be a false negative if you didn’t get far enough up in your nose or if you just didn’t follow the directions completely. You could be getting a false negative or false positive too,” said Davis.

According to Abbott, 84.6 percent of positive BinaxNOW results are accurate and 98.5 percent of negative tests are accurate. That’s the case for people who test seven days or less after they notice symptoms.

It’s up to the person taking the test to reach out to a doctor and report a positive test result to their county health department.

“It’s just really important so we still know how it is spreading. But also, it’s still important that we do those quarantining measures if you are positive, to stop the spread with you,” said Davis. “They could test negative today but be positive tomorrow. The best thing that you can do is to get vaccinated, so you don’t have to test yourself. But it is great to have those options specifically when you know it was hard to even get tested at the beginning of this.”

The test costs about about $24. It received FDA emergency use authorization.

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