Home Covid test challenge: Popular kits put to the test

BOSTON — As concerts, sporting events, weddings start to open up to more guests and people in Massachusetts look to travel again, doctors tell Boston 25 News accurate and accessible Covid testing will become increasingly important to safely return to some sense of “normal”.

Several Covid tests that can be performed at home are exploding in popularity and more are scheduled for approval soon, with convenience being a big selling point.

“No traveling to a testing site waiting in long car lines. You can do it in the comfort of your own home at your leisure,” said Newton Wellesley Pathologist Dr. Michael Misialek. “If you had a kit on hand, there’s nothing faster than testing right there on the spot. And that’s the beauty of what we call point of care testing. It’s bringing the lab rate to the patient.”

Dr. Misialek provided some stats on two popular tests and demonstrated how they work:

DxTerity is a top seller on Amazon right now.

  • Available without a prescription, whether you have symptoms or not
  • PCR test, results can be submitted for travel or a return to school
  • Saliva collected at home
  • Send sample in pre-addressed box overnight
  • Results back in 48 hours (Dr. Misialek got his negative result in 24 hours
  • $110

Lucira

  • Available by prescription, with or without symptoms
  • Molecular test, highly accurate but not as widely accepted as PCR
  • Nasal swab collected at home
  • Sample is inserted into battery-operated device for results at home in minutes.
  • $50

Critics claim the tests are too expensive. It has not yet been determined if the cost will be covered by insurance.

When asked if the tests are worth the money, Dr. Misialek said it comes down to the accuracy of the tests.

“Some of them yes, are worth the money. Some of them not so much. And it’s buyer beware,” Misialek said.

He believes both of these test kits sampled are highly accurate and could become important tools in preventing the spread of the virus.

“The sooner we know somebody’s status, the sooner that person can quarantine, isolate themselves and seek treatment if needed.

Dr. Misialek says if you’re not sure what type of test makes sense for you, it’s best to reach out to your doctor and ask.


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