Say Yes! COVID Test Program Offers Free, Rapid, Self-Administered Tests to Spokane County Residents to Reduce COVID-19 Spread
SRHD: Kelli Hawkins | email@example.com | 509.324.1539, c 509.994.8968
CareEvolution: Vik Kheterpal, MD | firstname.lastname@example.org
National Institutes of Health (NIH): Raymond MacDougall | email@example.com
Residents can order their free COVID-19 test kits while supplies last at SayYesCovidHomeTest.org
Spokane, Wash – The Say Yes! COVID Test At-Home Testing Challenge provides households with access to free, rapid COVID-19 antigen test kits that are self-administered and are now available in Spokane County.
Say Yes! COVID Test encourages residents to use the tests to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep the community healthy. Spokane County residents can order testing kits online for free home delivery, while supplies last.
“Children, adolescents, and adults who are not yet fully vaccinated or at high risk need more accessible tools to inform their choices. Free, rapid, self-administered testing will give community members one more way to help reduce the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Francisco Velázquez, Spokane County health officer. “As the holidays near, these tests can help you make informed decisions about gathering with friends and family.”
The Say Yes! COVID Test initiative is a cooperative effort from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), community partners, test manufacturer Quidel, and healthcare technology company CareEvolution. State and local health departments help connect the initiative to local community members. Researchers at NIH-supported academic health centers will work with CDC and NIH to use publicly available data to determine if the local testing efforts slowed the spread of COVID-19.
Rapid, self-administered testing has potential to disrupt the spread of COVID-19 that occurs when people are infected, but don’t yet have symptoms. Testing on a routine basis offers the best chance of identifying COVID-19 infection and isolating early. The COVID-19 tests are authorized for use by the FDA, provided free of charge, and the entire testing process can be managed privately at home.
Tests require a quick swab inside each nostril, and results can be read in just 10 minutes. A free, private, and easy-to-use mobile application is available to help individuals in every step of test taking. The maker of the tests, Quidel, is the same company that made the first rapid flu tests used by doctors’ offices in the United States.
Individuals who have not yet received the COVID-19 vaccine or who have the highest risk of exposure to COVID-19, such as people working or going to school outside the home, are ideal candidates for participation, but anyone over the age of 2 is welcome to participate. The testing challenge lasts for at least a month, or until all tests are used. Test users who choose to use the companion digital assistant to record and share their test results and complete a survey can earn up to $35 in gift cards, while supplies last.
SRHD asks participants to report positive test results to the Washington State Department of Health by calling (800) 525-0127, then press #. Language assistance is available. If you call after hours, leave a voice message and someone will follow up with you. When you report positive results, public health is able to identify possible outbreaks sooner. This helps to reduce the risk of more people getting sick and helps keep the community safer.
“When combined with other public health measures such as wearing a mask in public places and gatherings, getting vaccinated, using good hygiene practices when coughing and sneezing, and washing your hands, testing can help us control the spread of COVID-19 in our community and save lives,” said Velázquez.
Spokane County residents can visit the website SayYesCovidHomeTest.org to learn more and order test kits for doorstep delivery.