D.C. Health introduces rapid testing kits to home test program

Washington-DC

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WASHINGTON (WDVM) — As COVID cases rise, lines have been stretching around buildings to get tested before the holidays. D.C.’s Test Yourself program that provides at-home COVID tests has expanded to make rapid tests available as well.

The program was first launched to make the process of getting tested smoother and faster. Take-home testing kits have been available across the district for months as the city works to make sure tests are easy and accessible for residents.

“At many of our public locations… testing is what we’ve referred to throughout this pandemic as the gold standard of testing,” said Patrick Ashley, senior deputy director of D.C. Health.

These kits have previously only provided PCR tests, which must be sent off and take a bit to get results from. Each kit comes with its own instructions.

“PCR-based tests do take a few days to come back, and we know that we want individuals to reduce the spread of the virus in the community, and so there’s a time and a place to take an antigen test kit,” said Ashley.

D.C. health noted that PCR tests are needed for reporting accepted results. Anyone who takes an at-home test is asked to report results back to D.C. Health.

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