Gem State Roundup
Want a free, at-home COVID-19 test? In Idaho, just dial 2-1-1.
The SARS-CoV-2 molecule has a “spike protein” that it uses to hook into and invade certain cells in the body. (Courtesy of the CDC)
Idahoans who may have COVID-19 can now easily request a saliva test kit to use in their home, with results in one to three days.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare announced Tuesday that it now offers free at-home COVID-19 tests to Idaho residents. Dial 2-1-1 to request them.
The orders require no personal information, other than a name and a mailing address.
“Reliable and widely available testing is a critical part of our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Elke Shaw-Tulloch, administrator of the Division of Public Health, in a news release. “Combined with efforts to increase vaccinations, this important initiative can help to get us back to our usual way of living.”
The state partnered with a company, VAULT, to provide the tests at no cost to patients. The tests are authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, and VAULT offers tests for people with or without COVID-19 symptoms or a known exposure to the coronavirus. The tests are 99% accurate for positive or negative test results, according to the company. (A small fraction of results are inconclusive.)
The tests require a person to collect a saliva sample and mail it to a laboratory, which will report back the test results electronically within 24 to 72 hours. Test results also are reported to Idaho public health departments, as is required for all COVID-19 test results.
Visit healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/news/free-home-covid-19-tests-are-available-idaho-dialing-2-1-1, or call 2-1-1 or 800-926-2588, to learn more about the process.
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