COVID-19 take-home tests becoming more popular in Arkansas; governor says people not self-reporting


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Arkansans looking for a COVID-19 test can take a well-known PCR or antigen test, but there’s another option becoming increasingly popular: take-home tests.

Dr. Jennifer Dillaha is the state epidemiologist for the Arkansas Dept. of Health. She said these tests are convenient and can be effective if used properly.

“They’re not quite as sensitive as the PCR tests that you have to send off to a lab, but they can be very helpful,” Dillaha said.

Dillaha said most of these tests are antigen versions themselves, and people should make sure they understand how to properly use them.

“People need to read the instructions, and I’m not sure if they’re easily worded,” Dillaha said. “If they’re very technical, it may be difficult for people without a science background to understand them.”

Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) said Tuesday that people don’t have to report if they’ve tested positive on a take-home test. This affects the daily ADH reports.

“There could be thousands of home tests that are being done that we’re not aware of—the negatives and the positives,” Hutchinson said. “Everyone needs to understand we’re in a new arena with the tests.”

Dillaha said she hopes people decide to self-report if they test positive.

“If people have a positive test, they’re strongly encouraged to call the Arkansas Dept. of Health COVID line,” Dillaha said.

The take-home tests are becoming increasingly popular. In Fayetteville, CVS was out of stock Tuesday when a KNWA/Fox24 reporter called. Dillaha said this popularity will likely continue.

“I think it will become more and more common that these tests are used at home,” Dillaha said. “They’ll be very convenient.”

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