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How to use Pima County's new take-home COVID-19 test

Abbott BinaxNOW Antigen COVID-19 Test
Posted at 10:15 PM, Oct 31, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Boxes of new COVID-19 test kits are stacked from floor to ceiling in a Pima County warehouse.

"We have about 100,000 of the actual tests. That's 50,000 boxes. We are going to try to stay stocked on these and be ready for any need that the community sees," said Pima County Health Department Program Manager, Spencer Graves.

The kits are a first in Pima County. They were developed by Abbott and are called BinaxNOW. They are equipped with two antigen tests that you can take home and administer yourself.

"It has clear instructions on how to collect the sample," said Graves.

To take the test, you swirl a shallow swab in each nostril five times. After, you return the swab to a test card that delivers results in just 15 minutes. A QR code inside the kits takes you to a Pima County website to report your results.

"We are encouraging everybody who participates in this program to report back their results, negative or positive. We want to track data better and see where COVID is spreading in the community," said Graves.

Graves said this testing option will eliminate barriers.

"Pima County has always been very aware of transportation and lack of access issues in different communities throughout town. This is our effort to get into the community and make it more accessible. This also cuts down the cost barrier," said Graves.

The tests are free and, according to Graves, reliable.

"We've compared these with PCR tests. We've had the CDC in Pima County doing a side-by-side analysis. It's very good efficacy. We can be sure that they are very accurate," said Graves.

Pima County Health Department is handing out take-home tests on Saturday, October 30 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Abrams Public Health Center (3950 S. Country Club Road).

For more information about COVID-19 testing in Pima County, click here.