Soon, Americans will have the opportunity to test for the coronavirus, COVID-19, for themselves at home, as home testing company Everlywell pushes to launch a test, beginning on March 23.
According to Time, the home testing company, which offers a variety of tests for things ranging from food sensitivities to STDs, says that it is ready to ship some 30,000 of the new coronavirus tests, and is looking to expand the number of labs processing the samples.
However, the availability of the testing kits also is dependent on the availability of the swabs used for collecting samples. The main manufacturer of the swabs is actually a company based in Italy, which is currently under lockdown due to the viral virus, causing limited supplies. As a result of that, and the increased demand for testing, Everlywell plans to only send out one swab with its kits, and is limiting the kits to one per household. A doctor will also need to prescribe the test before the company sends out the $135 kit.
“We’re working hard to ramp up weekly capacity to test 250,000 Americans,” Everlywell CEO and founder Julia Cheek said. “Our goal is to continue to refresh capacity but with the global swab shortage, we don’t have a confirmed timeline for that yet. Ultimately, she says, the testing kits could be designed for a household so everyone in a family could be tested if needed to know what protective measure they might need to take.”