Health Team

Home COVID-19 test kits widely available, including NC-based LabCorp's 'Pixel'

Posted February 4, 2021 6:00 a.m. EST
Updated February 4, 2021 6:58 a.m. EST

— Home self-test kits to detect COVID-19 offer convenience and fast results. Several players in the market promote their own versions.

  • For example, with a prescription and $25, BinaxNOW provides their service using a phone app and a testing product the size of a credit card. They promise results in 15 minutes.
  • Ellume offers a no-prescription home test option for $30.
  • For $50, Lucira has an "all-in-one" test kit with results in 30 minutes.

Burlington-based Labcorp is not new to the at-home COVID-19 testing business.

"We were the very first lab to be approved by the FDA to do the at-home collection, which seems like a long time ago, way back in May 2020," said Brian Caveney, a LabCorp VP and president of diagnostics.

Their kit, "Pixel by LabCorp," is the same test used in countless medical settings as well as drive-up testing sites across the state and the country.

LabCorp files the insurance for anyone who gets the test from their website, with no upfront cost. "And in most cases, that is available under the CARES Act at no cost to the person, " said Caveney.

Testing is for anyone who thinks they may have symptoms of COVID-19 or believe they may have been exposed to someone who was diagnosed with the infection. However, taking the test and getting a positive result is only the first step.

Caveney said, "If we are able to catch and identify those people and convince them to take the appropriate action to protect themselves and others, that will help us stem the spread of the virus."

Caveney says many people have expressed concerns about different mutations and variants of the virus circulating in communities. "We are working very closely with the CDC and other agencies and, indeed, we were the first lab to identify the South African variant in a person in South Carolina most recently," said Caveney.

He offered this assurance, "So we will still detect any of the different cases regardless of mutation and continue to work very closely with state and federal authorities."

He says there are different methodologies for COVID testing. Regarding their at-home test version, Caveney said, "It’s still the most accurate, the most sensitive and specific of any of the different ones available on the market."

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