Doctors say most at-home COVID tests work the same, regardless of price

Picking between at-home COVID tests
Picking between at-home COVID tests
Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 11:27 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - For those traveling this holiday, health officials are urging you to get a COVID-19 test before you hit the road to help limit the spread of the Omicron variant. Experts say even a quick at-home test will do, but not all are worth the money.

State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said if you are worried about user error or accuracy, PCR tests that you get at a testing site or doctors office are the most reliable. He says so far, PCR tests will pick up on the Omicron variant.

But, he said when you are shopping for an at-home test, they are just as good. He said as long as it is FDA approved under emergency use authorization, they all basically do the same thing.

Harris said they are in high demand right now, so they may be hard to find, but if you get a test that doesn’t cost as much as others, it will likely be just as good.

“There is really no distinction,” Harris said. “I don’t think that price is really a proxy for quality here. I think you just find a test that is available to you and that is the one you should get.”

Dr. Harris said starting next month, insurance providers will reimburse you for the cost of your COVID test, but the state is still offering free testing options.

Click here to find a testing center near you.

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