TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Standing in long lines to check for COVID-19 is now a thing of the past. The demand for at-home COVID test kits is skyrocketing in America.
As the nation grows accustomed to getting back into the swing of things, vaccine mandates or negative-test results are becoming more of a norm. Rapid testing is a quick solution for people looking to travel for the holidays, head to work, attend school or live music events, etc.
“We’ve had a lot of COVID activity in East Texas for months on end. I think some people are doing what I did, and wisely buying a few kits,” said Tom Cummins, Division Chief Medical Officer at UT Health East Texas.
Right now, there are three different forms of testing for the coronavirus: molecular, antigen, and antibody. Molecular or polymerase chain reaction or PCR tests, can detect the virus through a simple nasal or saliva sample by identifying the genetic material inside. Most at-home test kits are antigen tests, and they detect the virus proteins, delivering quicker results than molecular or PCR tests. However, can faster results be trusted?
According to Tom Cummins with UT Health, the tests are a valuable tool.
“I do encourage people to get some if they have them. I think they’re great for using before you go travel, or if you’re starting to have symptoms to say, ‘hey let me check before I go to church today. I have a cough, a little bit of congestion, maybe I should make sure before I go expose several hundred of my closest friends to my COVID” said Cummins.
Tonight on KETK News at 10, hear from East Texas medical professionals as they break down at home COVID testing, the benefits, the risks, and what you should do after a positive or even a negative result. Follow KETK and FOX51 Anchor, Sarah Alegre as she walks us through the testing process first hand in ‘Results: Home or Lab?’