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At-home COVID-19 test kit website launches early

Posted at 5:15 PM, Jan 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-18 17:15:24-05

The new federal government's website to order free COVID-19 home test kits has started to accept orders today, a day ahead of its original launch date.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki says the site was rolled out today as part of beta testing but will formally launch tomorrow morning.

But for many, the daunting task of finding legit COVID-19 home test kits has just become a little easier thanks to the launch of the website COVIDtests.gov

Adithi Vijayraja is concerned about the latest COVID-19 surge across the state and feels the home testing kits will help with curbing the spread of the infection.

"I think it's great, I know there was a shortage of tests and it's good that everybody can have accessibility to tests," said Vijayraja, an Ann Arbor resident.

Tommy Mead says even though he would have preferred the service to be rolled out sooner, something is better than nothing.

"It only helps society to get the tests directly to people. I'm all for it," said Tommy Mead a concerned Ann Arbor resident.

To order, just head over to covidtests.gov

Since they’re free, you won't have to pay shipping costs or provide any credit card information. But there are limits - you can only order 4 per household at this time.They'll ship within 7-12 days of ordering.

As for how reliable these tests are, Dr. Asha Shajahan from Beaumont Grosse Pointe Hospital says the antigen or rapid test kits give results in 15 mins and they are accurate.

"If it's positive, you can be pretty confident that you have COVID, if it's negative it does have a 20% false-negative rate," said Dr. Asha Shajahan, Medical Director Community Health, Beaumont Grosse Pointe Hospital.

Dr. Shajahan says if you are experiencing COVID symptoms then it's best to use the home test kit on the 3rd day and if you still test negative then repeat the test the following day.

"Two things to do if you test positive, report it online to your local health department and call your doctor for advice," said Dr. Asha Shajahan, Medical Director Community Health, Beaumont Grosse Pointe Hospital.

Also, it's important to note that the at-home test kit result may not be used for international travel as most airlines flying across the border require PCR test results or an alternative approved COVID-19 test as per the destination country's guidelines.