At-home virus tests now available free
October 22, 2020
Using of the federal CARES Act funds allocated to Wyoming, Governor Mark Gordon has purchased thousands of at-home COVID-19 tests for citizens of this state. Wyoming residents may now order tests free of charge and take them in the comfort of their own home.
The tests have been purchased from Vault Health and ordinarily cost $150 each; this charge, however, has been waived for all kits that are shipped to a Wyoming address and insurance is not required. The test kits utilize the first saliva tests for COVID-19 authorized by the FDA, which are believed to have the same level of effectiveness as the more usually administered swab test.
“This at-home, non-invasive testing option is another tool to help Wyoming slow the spread of this virus,” Gordon said in a press release announcing the purchase. “It’s one more way we can help protect our vulnerable populations, keep businesses open, and make sure our hospital beds are available to those who need them.”
The test does not measure antibodies and can only determine if the person testing it is currently infected with the coronavirus and has the potential to infect other people.
Tests can be ordered from vaulthealth.com. When ordering, you will be asked to describe your symptoms, risk factors and pertinent health history and provide your shipping details.
The kit will then be sent to your address via expedited shipping. Inside the kit, you will find a blue instruction card.
You will then be asked to log into the website and connect with a test supervisor over a Zoom video call. This supervisor will guide you through the process of collecting your saliva to complete the test, which will take only a few minutes.
The kit also includes packaging to send your sample back to Vault Health through prepaid expedited shipping. You will receive a report of your results within 72 hours of your sample arriving at the lab.
The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) recommends the tests for any resident who wants to know if they are positive for the coronavirus. It does not, however, recommend them for anyone who has had a previous positive test within the last three months.
According to WDH, a positive test result will be reported to the department for follow-up and you will be asked to stay home and away from other people to avoid spreading the virus, unless seeking medical attention.
The state has purchased 75,000 tests from Vault Health and can obtain additional tests if needed. The program is intended to supplement the testing options already available, which include healthcare providers, hospitals and some pharmacies.
According to the governor, the program was launched in response to advice from the White House, which has said that expanded testing will greatly improve the state’s ability to track the epidemic, especially when activities move back indoors for the winter months.
A second program for businesses and community organizations is also expected to launch shortly. A registration process for participants will be made available at that time.