Test to Treat with COVID-19
While the recent surges of current COVID-19 variants are not driving high levels of hospitalization and death, the persistent, circulating virus continues to affect individuals, which in-turn has caused many of those to miss work, school and other essential day-to-day activities.
What is Test to Treat?
Test to Treat is about catching the virus early in individuals, recovering quickly, and returning to your normal day-to-day life.
The Test to Treat initiative was launched in May 2022, by the Biden administration to create one-stop centers where patients could be tested for COVID-19 and be prescribed antivirals.
Tests that diagnose COVID-19 include:
- Point-of-Care tests:
- Point-of-Care testing uses rapid diagnostic tests performed. Rapid tests used in point-of-care settings can be NAAT, antigen, or antibody tests.
- Point-of-Care tests are utilized most commonly in physician offices, urgent care facilities, pharmacies, school health clinics, long-term care facilities and temporary locations such as drive-through testing sites.
- At-Home tests:
- Also known as self-tests and/or OTC (over-the-counter) tests.
- At-Home tests are a type of rapid antigen – ensure the test you are utilizing are FDA Authorized.
- Easy to use and most provide results in less than 30 minutes.
- Laboratory tests:
- Most commonly include PCR tests.
- Usually takes between 6-72 hours for results.
Rapid antigen tests for at-home use, such as INDICAID®, continue to improve their capability to detect, including the likelihood of detecting the new BA.4 and BA.5 variants. These at-home self-administered tests have grown in acceptance and reduce the time required to wait for test appointments and results, meaning that individuals who test positive can quickly move to the treatment phase.
Test to Treat may be especially helpful for protecting individuals at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19, which is why serial testing (which the FDA recommends - where you repeat testing following a negative result whether or not you have COVID-19 symptoms) and testing as soon as symptoms arise is so important.
You Test Positive – Now What?
“Testing to identify the presence of COVID-19 combined with immediate treatment can result in an accelerated negative test and faster return to work and life,” states Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, an international physician expert in the prevention and control of infectious diseases and frequent advisor to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and World Health Organization.
There are many options once you see a positive COVID-19 test result:
- Contact your General Practitioner / Family Doctor
- Many doctors are able to send in a prescription direct to your pharmacy when you call the office, this avoids having to go into their office – and you still are provided with care.
- Use a Telehealth Provider
- If your insurance has the option of telehealth – it is extremely easy to have a quick virtual visit and then be prescribed what they feel is necessary.
- If you do not have insurance, there are many options available to you with a flat rate fee of around $25-35.
- You can find available options here.
- Visit an Urgent Care
- While visiting an urgent care may be a last resort – they will be able to test you again at their facility to ensure your COVID-19 status and then prescribe you medication .
- Utilize a federally supported Test to Treat site
- You can find your local Test to Treat facilities here, utilizing the location map provided by ASPR.
What are Common Treatments for COVID-19?
Treatments for the virus continue to enter the market. Antiviral treatments, like Paxlovid and Lagevrio, are proven to shorten the duration of COVID-19 symptoms and duration of test positivity. It is important to note that oral medication for COVID-19 must be taken within five days of the onset of symptoms, making it critical to test as soon as possible.
Be sure when you are talking with a doctor regarding your treatment to let them know of any other medications you are taking along with any health history that also may be relevant.
Test with INDICAID® Rapid Antigen Test
- Approved for use of 2 years and up (Ages 2-14 to be administered by an adult)
- FDA EUA Authorized
- 93.4% overall accuracy
- Able to detect COVID-19 virus variants (incl. Delta & Omicron)
- HSA/FSA Eligible