3/18/21 - While the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine continues to increase, there is a continued need for preventative measures, including the need for COVID-19 testing.
To help with local testing efforts, Knox Public Health has announced the availability of free, at-home test kits. Produced by Abbott Laboratories, the BinaxNOW test provides results in minutes and detects the COVID-19 virus in the early part of the disease when people are most infectious. The BinaxNOW test is highly recommended for those with COVID-19 symptoms.
The test kit involves a nasal swab, a chemical substance to process the nasal swab and a test card to determine the results. The card also officially validates the test results so that they can be used for reporting purposes, whether the results are positive or negative.
There are several technical requirements to use the BinaxNOW test kit including access to the internet, an email account, and a smartphone, computer or tablet with a webcam. Preparation for the test involves a live video chat with a test monitor who observes the actual testing procedure and provides instructions on how to use the test kit.
KPH is providing written step-by-step instructions detailing the technical requirements and the testing process. While the actual test results are available in approximately 15 minutes, the entire process can take anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes.
According to KPH Deputy Health Commissioner Zach Green, the rapid test is especially helpful for someone who may have been exposed to a positive COVID-19 case and are required to quarantine for 14 days. “Under the current protocol, after five days of quarantine, someone can be tested and if they test negative, they can be released from quarantine earlier if they remain symptom free,’” said Green.
“With such a quick turnaround, the BinaxNOW test helps people who test negative, return to normal activities such as work or school,” said Green. “And if they test positive, it reinforces protective measures so they don’t spread the virus.”
The test kits were provided to local health departments by the Ohio Department of Health.
Green said the test kits have been distributed to several local schools for use by students and staff. Schools who have received the rapid test kits include: Centerburg Local Schools, Knox County Career Center, Clear Fork Schools, Knox Learning Center, New Hope Early Childhood Center and Fredericktown Local Schools. Test kits have also been provided to The Station Break Senior Citizen Center.
The test kits at KPH can be picked up from the front lobby receptionist at during regular business hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. KPH is located at 11660 Upper Gilchrist Rd., Mount Vernon.