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I took a coronavirus test at home: My unexpected results



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LetsGetChecked

For the latest news and information on the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

During the first months of 2020, one gets COVID-19 test was almost impossible. The emergency rooms were lagging behind, the clinic’s waiting rooms were full and drive-through test sites had lines out to the streets. The COVID-19 tests were so deficient that you had to show severe symptoms to even be considered for a test.

Now that we are almost to the last quarter of 2020, it is as easy to test for the new coronavirus as to click through a few screens on your smartphone. Almost everyone can be tested for COVID-19, thanks in part to home test kits made by home brands such as LetsGetChecked and Everlywell.

I was curious about the coronavirus test kit at home, so I decided to try one from LetsGetChecked.

For complete information, I have never experienced COVID-19 symptoms and have not consciously been in contact with anyone who was infected with COVID-19. Because of this, I can not order the test online, so I requested a test package from the company to test the experience.

Read more: How long does it take to get coronavirus results back?

How to get a home coronavirus test

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The home coronavirus test package from LetsGetChecked.

Amanda Capritto / CNET

As of September 2020, eight home COVID-19 tests are available to consumers. These include tests from LetsGetChecked, Everlywell, Pixel by Labcorp, Vault, Hims, Hers, Phosphorus and Picture by Fulgent Genetics.

Some brands, including LetsGetChecked, released coronavirus tests at home as early as March 2020, but the FDA quickly stopped production of these tests to ensure that no “unauthorized fraudulent test packages” were on the market.

Read more: Best DNA Test 2020: 23andMe vs. AncestryDNA and more

Later, the FDA administered Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for home COVID-19 test packages that fit certain criteria – namely that the FDA saw the value in the product and thought it could detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. You can see the full list of EUAs for the new coronavirus on the FDA’s website.

Now, several months into the pandemic, you can easily buy a coronavirus test at home – it’s like buying something else on the internet, except you have to take a screening test to make sure you are eligible for the test.

LetsGetChecked coronavirus test at home

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Unboxing test kit.

Amanda Capritto / CNET

I took the home COVID-19 test from LetsGetChecked, a fairly prominent name in the market for home health test equipment. LetsGetChecked coronavirus home test kit costs $ 119 and uses a lower nasal stick.

To order the test, you must fill out the online questionnaire. The quiz asks about any symptoms you may have, as well as your possible exposure to the new coronavirus. You will not qualify for the test if you have severe symptoms, as the company says you should seek medical attention for such symptoms.

You can not take the assessment twice, so be careful (and honest) when going through it.

Read more: 8 health packages at home to test for celiac disease, fertility and more

Unboxing tested

LetsGetChecked at home The COVID-19 test comes in a plain white box with the LetsGetChecked logo. Inside the box you will find several information cards, an instruction brochure, your test material and a prepaid return label.

Read all instructions before opening the test material. There are a few steps you must take before taking the test, which include filling out an information card with your birthday, gender, date and time. Then you register the test online. If you do not register the test online, it will not be processed and you will never receive your results.

Takes the test

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The test tube to collect your sample.

Amanda Capritto / CNET

I was quite nervous about taking the test because I had heard horrible accounts of COVID-19 tests (some exact words I have heard include “I swear, the stick was in my brain” – no). But the LetsGetChecked coronavirus test is a lower nostril, which means there is no “in your brain” feeling.

For a lower nostril, all you have to do is insert the supplied stick into the nostril, swirl it for 10 seconds and repeat in the other nostril. Some other home-made coronavirus tests take saliva samples instead of nasal swabs, and in my previous experience with medical tests and clinical trials, I think the lower nasal swab is less intense than the “spit in a tube” method.

The test was very easy to take and gave me no pain or discomfort, even though I felt I would sneeze a hundred times. No uncontrollable sneezing occurred, thank goodness.

LetsGetChecked provides phenomenally detailed instructions so I felt confident that I did everything right throughout the process – I think it would be quite difficult to send back an invalid sample, as the step by step instructions do not leave much room for error. Your package comes with a brochure, but you also get the instructions online with videos when you register for your test.

Return the test

LetsGetChecked provides a prepaid label and delivery instructions, so it’s super easy to return the test package. Just follow the instructions that came in the box and leave the package outside so that the UPS can pick it up. Remember that you must send the package back the same day you take your test, otherwise your test may be compromised.

My results and last thoughts

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The information card you need to fill out to return your sample.

Amanda Capritto / CNET

Overall, this process was incredibly simple and user-friendly. I can not speak for other home coronavirus tests, such as those from EverlyWell, Pixel by Labcorp or Phosphorus, but I imagine the process is similar: You make a qualifying assessment, buy a test, get it delivered, take the test and send it back the one with a prepaid shipping label.

I received my results within three days after my sample arrived at the test laboratory (the website says that it takes up to 72 hours from receipt). Although I felt so safe during the sampling process, there was obviously something wrong with my test. I opened the email with my results, only to be disappointed with the result: “coagulated.”

I was not sure what this meant, and the results page said little more than “This does not mean you have COVID-19”, followed by some instructions to take precautions only if I had the disease. I contacted the company for clarity and LetsGetChecked told me that although it is rare to get a “coagulated” result, it does happen.

LetsGetChecked said it could really be anything – maybe my test tube did not seal properly, or maybe the package was sitting out on my porch too long before a UPS driver picked it up.

I decided to try again, hoping I could get a valid test next time. When I get my new results, I’ll be back to update this story.

My second round

As promised, I ordered a new home COVID-19 test from LetsGetChecked to see if I could get real, insightful results. Of course, because I have not shown any symptoms of the new coronavirus, as ever (and certainly not within the time period during which I took the test), I expected completely negative.

And that’s what I got – no self-isolation for me, thank goodness!

Overall, I am happy with this process, even if my first test did not go as planned. LetsGetChecked is not wrong for the invalid result. In addition, a LetsGetChecked spokesman said that the company usually sends a free test to people who get an invalid result, which gives some peace of mind to anyone who is nervous about spending $ 100+ on a coronavirus test.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health problem.


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