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At-home COVID-19 self tests kits now available over-the-counter

From mass COVID-19 testing sites to now being able to test for the virus at the comfort of your own home.

TYLER, Texas — Over-the-counter COVID-19 test kits are now being sold in select stores and can be used at home. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these self-collection kits and tests are available either by prescription or over the counter in a pharmacy or retail store without a prescription.  

A variety of tests have been approved for emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration. 

"If you think you've been exposed those are good ways to use an at home test," Dr. Michelle Crum, assistant professor at UT Health Science Center at Tyler, said. 

Crum says there is evidence which shows most people will take advantage of testing when it's convenient.  

"If were are unable to have a test easily for covid19 it could be really difficult to follow up with treatment or to prevent spread to other people like our loved ones or those that we work with," she said. 

BinaxNOW is one of many rapid at-home test kits being sold on the market. 

"This is part of the effort to try to help places like schools, work places, other community events for people to be able to use those to enter, exit have a quick screen," she said. 

In addition to BinaxNow the FDA has also authorized products Lucira and Ellume

Crum says the at-home test should be used as a screening tool and not in place of seeking professional medical testing or treatment if symptomatic. 

"The reason why you'd want to do that instead of doing a home test, and you could do an at home test, is simply because you'd want that follow-up care and so it's good to be able to have that connection in case you do need some kind of early treatment or intervention," she said. 

Free COVID-19 testing is also available throughout East Texas. 

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays you may visit the North Tenneha Church of Christ in Tyler. 

For more information on free testing through Northeast Texas Public Health District you may visit their website by clicking here

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