How to get a Free COVID HomeKit

A negative rapid test doesn’t mean you don’t have COVID-19

Michigan residents can now order COVID-19 tests to be delivered to their homes without out-of-pocket expenses.

Beginning Tuesday, January 18, residents of Michigan and across the country can request up to four home antigen test kits per address through

The official release date was scheduled for mid-morning Wednesday, January 19, according to the Associated Press, but the site went up a day earlier during “beta testing.”

Test kits are delivered through the US Postal Service. According to the White House, tests will typically ship within 7 to 12 days of placing an order.

To place an order, you only need to provide your name and residential postal address.

Public health professionals and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that Americans start developing symptoms of COVID-19 or at least 5 days after contact with someone infected with COVID-19, or indoors with someone who has not been vaccinated or who is at risk of serious illness. They asked to use the test kit if they stayed together in the space.

The Biden administration recently announced that it will purchase and send 1 billion test kits to Americans across the country to address the problem residents are struggling to obtain timely tests.

Lines can be long at some test sites for hours, and home testing is difficult and expensive to obtain.

Additionally, private health insurers will be required to cover up to eight at-home expedited diagnostics per month as of Saturday, January 15th.

The latest coronavirus surge caused by the more contagious strain of Omicron continues to shake up Michigan. Last week, the state reported 15,734 new cases and 94 COVID-19 deaths a day, with test positive rates staying above 33%.

A negative rapid test doesn’t mean you don’t have COVID-19

A single negative result of the rapid at-home test, which takes about 15 minutes, does not guarantee that you are not infected with COVID-19.

There are too many variables. Scanning can be done either too soon before there are enough viruses to detect, or too late after a person has already spread the virus to others.

And the fastest tests should be used in pairs, typically one or two days apart for better accuracy, even when guided by guidelines. Nevertheless, some brands sell one per box, and sometimes the cost of testing is expensive and in short supply, leaving families dependent on a single screening test.

Home antigen testing is useful in containing an epidemic, but experts say it is often misused and can give false confidence. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, said some people mistakenly view home testing as “a jailbreak card.” Even more so now that a new, more widespread strain is dominating the country.

Rapid testing excels at accurately detecting infections in symptomatic people. Several studies have estimated accuracy ranging from 70% to nearly 90%. Other studies performed before the current strain or performed in more controlled settings have shown higher rates, but nonetheless the test may still miss some infected people.

This increases the risk of spread as the likelihood of spread increases dramatically as the number of people attending the event increases.

Antigen test results are less accurate in asymptomatic people.

In the case of asymptomatic cases, experts estimate that a rapid test is ‘on average about 50% accurate.

Testing too early, such as within a day or two after exposure, may result in inaccurate results. Similarly, testing a few days prior to a gathering doesn’t give much information about who might be infected on the day of the meeting.

Experts recommend starting self-tests three days after exposure or a few days after the onset of sick symptoms. Because the schedule for detecting infection is uncertain, it is recommended to use both tests in the kit as per the instructions, and if there is an event, one of the tests should be done on the day of the meeting.

Antigen testing works by looking for a protein on the surface of the virus, which must be present in the appropriate amount to be detected by the test. The CDC recommends a five-day quarantine if symptoms disappear or resolve without fever. Some patients test positive for more than 10 days after the first symptoms appear, but experts say they will not remain infected until then.

MI Asian Staff
Author: MI Asian Staff