Assessing the value of at-home COVID tests
DENISON, Texas (KTEN) — Every U.S. household is now eligible to receive up to four free COVID antigen at-home test kits.
A rapid COVID test provides results in about 15 to 30 minutes, while a PCR test from a lab may take a couple of days.
"PCR tests are going to be more accurate than at-home antigen tests," explained pharmacist Kristin Glezman, owner of The Medicine Shoppe in Denison. " You can get your results quicker, or you can test quicker with the PCR test than the antigen test to get a positive test."
That doesn't mean antigen tests are not valuable.
"You usually have to have symptoms for a few days before they can give you accurate results... whether it's the positive or negative," Glezman said.
Jacob Alejos told us he's ready to order his free COVID tests now.
"Just to try it out, so we don't have to go out no more to get the test publicly," he said. "I kind of get paranoid with them trying to put their hands in your face, even though they're covered up."
But Scott Graham said he has no need for the free tests.
"I'm retired and I only have two dogs and me, so, I'm not around a lot of people normally," he said. "As far as the testing... if anybody else wants to keep testing, that's fine. I don't object to it, but it's just not for me."
If you do take an at-home antigen test after experiencing COVID symptoms, it's best to take a second test within 24 to 48 hours.
"Just so that if you do have COVID, it gives you the opportunity for those antigens to develop and to test positive on the COVID tests," Glezman explained.