COVID-19 Testing At-Home vs Urgent Care

Almost every COVID-19 test that has come out since the pandemic began has been celebrated as a significant step forward in curbing the pandemic and helping the country inch back closer to “normal” life. Now, the College of American Pathologists is joining other medical experts in expressing concern about the accuracy of COVID-19 tests administered at home. The organization says home test-kits for COVID-19 patients or family members to administer on themselves leaves too much to chance when compared to testing conducted by healthcare professionals in a controlled environment. 

The national medical organization hosted an online news briefing to issue its warning. In expressing its concerns, the group questioned whether the average person has the skills necessary to get an accurate COVID-19 test in an at-home setting.  

“Testing for any illness requires specific processes, proper sample collection, temperature controls and handling. When any one of those steps is done improperly, the odds of getting a false test result increases.” 

Dr. Kevin DiBenedetto

Dr. Kevin DiBenedetto is Chief Medical Officer at Premier Health. He shares the College of American Pathologists concerns saying, “Testing for any illness requires specific processes, proper sample collection, temperature controls and handling. When any one of those steps is done improperly, the odds of getting a false test result increases.”  

The nasal swab portion of the COVID-19 test is one of the steps that must be done correctly to get an accurate result. The College of American Pathologists worries non-clinicians may not get an adequate sample because the process of obtaining a nasal swab can be uncomfortable. There is also concern at-home tests will not catch the growing number of COVID-19 variants. The College of American Pathologists concluded the most accurate way to know if you or someone you love is infected with COVID-19, is to be tested by trained clinicians in a clinical setting like Family First Express Care.  

Family First Express Care is part of the Premier Health Family of Joint Venture Urgent Care Centers.