UNITED STATES—If you are among the Angelenos at high risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms, you are undoubtedly frustrated by the lack of progress in containing the pandemic. As vaccine distribution strategies are hotly debated, COVID-19 and its more contagious variants surged through the holidays into this year, with Los Angeles county surpassing one million cases in January. People especially vulnerable to the virus may be wondering if COVID testing at home can help them stay safe; read on as we examine 5 benefits of in-home testing for people with medical conditions.
1.Reduces risk of exposure from getting tested
In its guidance for individuals with disabilities and medical conditions, the Los Angeles County Public Health department (LAPH) urges the vulnerable to isolate to the best of their ability to avoid the virus. One of the recommendations is to utilize at-home medical services for your health needs where possible.
While health care professionals located at testing centers are following strict protocols to avoid virus transmission, the process of visiting a testing center inherently increases the risk of virus exposure.
When using an in-home medical services provider for your testing needs, the risk is significantly lower. One nurse with fresh personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitized testing supplies will arrive at your home to administer the test, maximizing convenience while minimizing your risk.
2. Services by medical professionals you can trust
In-home testing is conducted by licensed nurses who can consult with you and accommodate any special medical needs you may have due to a chronic condition or disability.
While DIY testing kits have been promoted as a strategy to help prevent the virus from spreading, there are numerous issues that have been noted, including:
- No tests have met full FDA criteria and are only approved on an emergency basis
- Results can be unreliable due to human error in collecting and preparing samples, as well as mail delays causing samples to deteriorate before they can be processed
- Rapid tests were only approved for emergency use by the public in December and thus are not yet widely available. The cost of each test is $30.00
- You are still required to leave your home to submit your test sample, which could mean exposure to the virus
- You may need to leave your home to obtain your test kit if purchasing one at a store is not an option in your area, similarly increasing your risk of exposure
In-home COVID-19 testing by an onsite medical service such as Concierge MD LA gives you access to rapid tests, allowing you to get results in 30 minutes or less depending on the type of test you use. Should you choose a test requiring lab processing, results usually return in 3 days – a much quicker turn-around time than if you had to mail in samples yourself.
3. Testing for the entire household
Another frustration for those vulnerable to the virus is the difficulty of getting everyone in their bubble tested. Some testing sites cannot accommodate children under a certain age, and although testing demand is down, testing centers still present an exposure risk. This risk is only heightened if multiple trips are necessary by various household members to get tested.
With in-home testing services, you can trust tests to be administered correctly and safely to everyone in your bubble.
4. Expert advice and advocacy
Many mistakes have been made when educating the public regarding the virus, resulting in a wide spectrum of beliefs regarding what is necessary to stay safe. In-home testing services often offer guidance from experts in the event that someone tests positive.
A professional medical service understands the frightening challenges vulnerable persons face when they share a household with someone who underestimates the risk. Should someone test positive in your household, a licensed clinician will offer guidance that reinforces LAPH’s guidance for people who are sick, helping you advocate for your health and safety.
5. Less expensive than you may think
Most people assume onsite medical services are unaffordable, but that isn’t necessarily the case. PPO insurance holders may be able to get partial reimbursements for COVID-19 testing at home.
Additionally, many in-home services offer both group and ongoing contract discounts for their services.