The US Government COVID test: a review

I had a PCR test earlier in the week, lot of symptoms that are odd lead me to a follow up test with the US government’s COVID-19 test they shipped me via USPS.

I have some thoughts and concerns.

US government covid test kit

For the most part it’s pretty simple – open, swab nose, put nose swab in solution for a couple of minutes, place test strip in for 10 minutes, take test strip out and wait for 10 minutes for results. Should be fine. Nope.

It started with me being unable to unscrew the solution cap. Was not happening. I did eventually but it required an effort on the one that I tried. I’m not the weakest barn on the bridge either so not sure why I couldn’t apply torque to the thing.

Nasal swab was fine. Placed in the solution and waited for a bit and readied the next portion.

This involves tearing the test strip out of a package that’s fairly thick. The tear direction indicator tears straight into the strip. I was in danger of ripping the thing in two. Grabbed some scissors and sliced the top off of the packaging and pulled it out. Thing was way overprotected and more in danger of the user than anything else.

US government covid test kit
Look very closely colorblind plebes

Placed in the solution for the required time read the directions and I’m looking for a blue and a faint pink line and I’m colorblind. Says to look really closely even if you can’t see it faint pink can be an indicator. I, along with about 8% of the population are red/green colorblind. So yeah, there’s a strike right there.

I grabbed a color sighted person to verify as well as a color spectrometer app I own for cases like these and determined that there was no lite pink line.

Overall, assuming I am indeed covid negative (which considering I passed a PCR test earlier, covid at home test yesterday, and then visited a nursing care facility I sure hope so,) this test kit needs a redesign.

US government covid test kit

I’m not really up to speed on how covid reactions can produce a light pink line, but almost any colors other than green or yellow would be preferable. I understand the caps on the solution need to stay closed under duress, but it took effort… more than it should. And change the orientation of the ripping for the test strip. Lordy. Had I all out ripped it it would have gone straight through it.

Let’s add to this the tests are sitting in a freezing mailbox for who knows how long during the winter and that tends to change the solution from what I’m reading.

It’s a start, but it’s not without issues. Should have been done a long long time ago.

*edit* did a second test and did not rip the strip in a straight tear – may have less to complain about.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts