JANESVILLE, Wis. — Instead of driving to a COVID-19 testing site, you might be curious how you can take it from the comfort of the couch.
Spectrum News 1 Wisconsin asked Mercyhealth ER Dr. Christopher Wistrom to give the new technology a try.
After a year of COVID-19, incredibly, he's never had to take a test.
"Yea, it’s my first COVID test, a testament to personal protective equipment working," Wistrom said testing out Everlywell’s FDA-Authorized at-home 'stick up your nose' test.
The price tag stands out.
"It’s a $120 out-of-pocket, is this covered by insurance at all?"
Everlywell said HSA/FSA money helps — otherwise its out of pocket.
Wistrom said the kit comes with a lot of steps.
"Wash your hands, assemble box, put box in mail, disinfect the mailer and ship," he said reading from the list. Ten minutes into opening up the product, comes a 20-questions styled registration, followed by a short video presentation.
"It seems a little bit more complicated then it has to be," he said. "But if that’s what I need to do to keep everyone safe, it’s worth it," he said after blowing his nose and washing his hands for his experiment.
He described putting the swab into each nostril as "unpleasant."
Luckily, he said the procedure was a complete success.
"While this made me sneeze, it’s not the worst thing ever," he said.
It's why as free COVID-19 testing sites start shutting down statewide or offering limited hours, he believes the kits could be the next best thing.
"This is something you could do at 5 a.m. when nothing is open, with the convenience you could do on your schedule," he said.
Wistrom applauds the company for finding a fast home testing solution while he continues talks with the FDA on his own rapid 5-second COVID breath test.
"The benefit of this pandemic is going to be all the innovation that comes out of it, and I think that innovation is going to change the world, more than the pandemic itself," he said.
Twenty-four hours after taking the test, Wistrom received his negative test results.
To learn about Wistrom's COVID breath test, click here.