Quick Question: What is mail-in diagnostic testing?

As we continue to see COVID-19 cases rise across the country, mail-in testing is becoming increasingly available. Mail-in diagnostic testing is a way for individuals who have had a potential exposure to COVID-19 or who are experiencing symptoms, to find out whether or not they currently have a SARS-CoV-2 infection. 

  • The process includes having a testing kit shipped to your home (usually within 24 hours), a swab or saliva collection is then taken by the individual and the person sends the sample back to the company so that a laboratory can examine it. This process needs to be completed quickly (typically within a few days) so that the sample does not expire.
  • At this time there is at least one FDA-approved test, but it is likely that this type of testing will become more common in the near future. It appears that both saliva and a nasal swab diagnostic test will be available depending on the company that offers the service.
  • The cost of mail-in testing depends on the test provider, some may be covered by insurance. Check with your provider to find out.
  • It is important to do research prior to buying a mail-in COVID test to be sure that the company is providing a reliable, accurate service (e.g., the FDA approved test).

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