Federal COVID-19 test kits arrive in Alabama
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Check your mailbox. Free COVID-19 test kits are arriving at homes across Alabama.
In January, the Biden Administration announced each household was eligible for four at-home coronavirus tests.
NBC News reports 50 million have already shipped – some to Alabama.
“So, these tests are pretty reliable,” said Dr. Wes Stubblefield with the Alabama Department of Public Health. “They are relatively accurate at diagnosing disease, greater than 90%. So, if you have a positive test, chances are you have the disease.”
The doctor explained that a negative test is not quite as reliable.
“If you just do a test, because you have cold symptoms, and it just started the day before, and it’s negative, you may still have COVID,” he said. “The test could just be a false negative.”
That is why ADPH is telling people to be more concerned about a false negative than a false positive.
Serial testing, or testing multiples time after exposure, could be a helpful tactic.
Some folks may be trying to save their government test kits. Those with symptoms are of course urged to take one, but it can be tricky with allergy season.
“Say for example, you have typical allergy symptoms, but you’re about to go visit a frail family member, and you want to make sure that you don’t have COVID, and so you test yourself,” Stubblefield said. “So that might be another circumstance.”
Test kits can still be ordered online at covidtests.gov. They will be shipped for free by the United States Postal Service.
USPS says orders will typically ship within 7-12 days.
Each shipment comes with a tracking number, so you know when to head to the curb.
Copyright 2022 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.