Missouri’s at-home COVID-19 PCR test kit program to cease
JEFFERSON CITY- After a sharp increase in testing demand during the Omicron surge in December and January, Missouri has been experiencing a dramatic decline in testing the past several weeks. Due to this low demand and increased availability and accessibility of testing resources, the State’s at-home PCR testing kit program is ending March 31.
Missouri residents who do not already have one of these at-home PCR test kits on hand can still order one for free through March 31 by using the online ordering system. Upon ordering, kits are typically received in the mail in two days. Individuals then have six months to use the kit before it expires. A result is received within 72 hours of mailing the specimen back to the laboratory in a free FedEx shipping envelope provided in the kit.
Those who currently have a Picture by Fulgent Genetics test kit on hand are encouraged to use the kit now or prior to the six-month expiration mark, especially if symptoms are experienced or exposure to high-risk individuals is planned.
Testing remains a key tool to keeping Missourians safe. Testing is not only for those who are symptomatic, but important for periodic surveillance especially when interacting with vulnerable populations and crowds.
Although Missouri began offering these free kits to Missourians nearly 10 months ago, most of the program’s activity occurred in January during the latest surge of COVID-19 transmission. Later in the month the federal government also began accepting orders for home tests. These tests can continue to be ordered at CovidTests.gov. Additionally, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services continues to provide drive-through community testing sites in areas of the state as needed. These opportunities, as well as other testing resource providers, can be found at health.mo.gov/communitytest.
A COVID-19 test is a one-time assessment and will only show if the individual is infected at the time of the test. For those experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, testing is highly recommended. Those who have had significant contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19 should also consider being tested.
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