Do at-home COVID-19 tests work? FOX 11's Laura Diaz tests the swabs

On Monday, I decided to look into the new at-home COVID tests. They’ve been around for a few months but only recently have they become extremely popular. 

In fact, they’re hard to find.

Just because the website says your local CVS/Walgreens/Rite Aid branch has the test in stock, don’t take their word for it. Every pharmacy within 10 miles of me that listed it as being "in stock now" was actually out of the test. 

I drove all the way to Northridge where the Walgreens had plenty on their shelves— two different kinds, to be exact. The clerk told me they recently got a delivery of 3,000 test kits and they’re flying off the shelves.

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My cameraman also found some at a pharmacy in Boyle Heights, however, they were stored behind the counter in the pharmacy. The moral of the story is that just because you don’t see any on the shelf, doesn’t mean they’re not in the store. Make sure to ask.

Depending on the brand, the test should cost around $20 to $25. The brand I used, Quickvue, requires two nasal swabs with results in 10 minutes. It’s also approved for use on kids as young as two years old.

I had a nice conversation with Dr. Ramsey Ulrich, internal medicine physician at Dignity Health in Ventura. For the most part, he says these at-home tests are accurate. They’re slightly more accurate for patients who are actually infected than for people who are not. But by and large, the Dignity Health doctor says it’s a good idea to have a test around in case of possible exposure at night or over a long weekend when getting to a testing facility might not be easy.

As for my test result, it was negative, thank heavens. Despite being fully vaccinated and showing no symptoms, it’s still a relief to get that good news. For that reason alone I’m sure these tests will continue flying off the shelves.

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