What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Coronavirus disease (also called COVID-19) is an infection caused by SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus). There has been an increasing number of cases reported in the United States, and it has become a global public health emergency. Those who have this disease may or may not experience symptoms, which range from mild to severe.
What are symptoms of COVID-19?
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
This list is not all possible symptoms. Other less common symptoms have been reported, including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Who is at high risk of getting very sick?
Most people have mild symptoms. Severe cases are more likely to occur in older adults (above 65 years of age), as well as pregnant women, those with weakened immune systems, and those with underlying health issues (such as lung disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, heart conditions, stroke, kidney disease, liver disease, cancer, transplant, AIDS, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis). However, serious disease can also occur in younger adults.
How does COVID-19 spread?
COVID-19 spreads from person-to-person. When an infected person coughs, sneezes, or exhales, droplets containing the virus go into the air and onto surfaces and objects around them. Other people are exposed to the virus by breathing in these droplets or by touching their eyes, nose, or mouth after touching infected surfaces.
How can I protect myself from getting COVID-19?
There are currently no vaccines for COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself is to avoid situations in which you may be exposed to the virus. Everyday actions can help protect you and prevent the spread of respiratory diseases such as COVID-19.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Restrict any activities outside your home and maintain a safe distance (around 6 feet) between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This includes avoiding crowded areas, shopping malls, religious gatherings, public transportation, etc.
- Wear simple cloth face coverings in public settings (like grocery stores and pharmacies) where social distancing is difficult, especially in areas where COVID-19 is spreading.
- Stay home when you are sick, unless you are seeking medical care.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water aren’t available. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
What can I do to prevent spreading COVID-19?
If you believe you may have COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19 and have mild symptoms, the following steps can help prevent the disease from spreading to others:
- Stay home
- Stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home
- Restrict any activities outside your home, except for getting medical care
- Avoid public areas, including work and school
- Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis
- Cover your nose and mouth
- If you are sick, wear a facemask when you are around other people or pets
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw away used tissues
- Wash hands
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Wash your hands especially after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, going to the bathroom, or before eating or preparing food
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth, and other people with unwashed hands
- Do not share
- Do not share dishes, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets
- After using personal items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water
- Clean and disinfect
- Clean high touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables
- Clean any surfaces that may come in contact with body fluids, blood, or stool
- Use a household cleaning spray or wipes
- Immediately remove and wash clothes or bedding that have body fluids, blood, or stool on them
When should I seek medical care?
If you think you have been exposed, it is important to closely monitor for symptoms. Most mild cases of COVID-19 resolve within 2 weeks without treatment. Seek medical attention immediately if you develop severe symptoms, especially if you experience any of the following:
- Trouble breathing
- Continuous pain or pressure in your chest
- Feeling confused or difficulty waking up
- Blue-colored lips or face
If you seek medical attention, be sure to call ahead before visiting the facility. This will help the facility keep other people from possibly getting infected or exposed.
- Tell any healthcare provider that you may have COVID-19.
- Put on a facemask before you enter any healthcare facility.
Where can I learn more about COVID-19?
About the Test
What is the methodology for Kashi’s COVID-19 test?
This molecular test is a qualitative assay using RT-PCR. It looks for the presence or absence of unique genomic markers of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Is this test authorized by the FDA?
How sensitive is this test?
Our RT-PCR test has a sensitivity of 500 viral copies per ml of human sample and a limit of detection of >95%.
Is this test the “antibody test” I have been hearing about?
No, this is not an antibody test, which would tell you if you have previously been exposed to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The Kashi COVID-19 test looks for the presence of virus in your saliva, which if present indicates that you have the virus.
What is the price of the COVID-19 test?
Will my COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit be covered by insurance?
Kashi Clinical Laboratories is out-of-network with all health insurance plans and providers. Kashi cannot bill your insurance directly for your test; all payment will be out of pocket for the purchase of the test. However, on request Kashi will provide you with a receipt highlighting the cost of the test. You can then submit this receipt to your insurance company for reimbursement, which will be at the discretion of your insurer.
Ordering a test
Who is eligible to obtain the COVID-19 at-home kit?
All individuals above the age of 18 who meet the screening criteria for COVID-19 testing.
How many tests can I purchase?
Due to the global manufacturing constraints, we are limiting purchases to one test kit per person.
What is the testing process?
1 – Answer questions online.
Go to www.kashilab.com/covid-athome and click “Order a Kit”. Enter your personal details, describe your symptoms, risk factors and pertinent health history online. You will need to enter payment details and shipping/billing address for your testing kit order.
2 – Order your testing kit.
The kit will be delivered directly to you via overnight delivery if purchased by 3:00 pm Pacific / 6:00 pm Eastern time. (All kits ordered from Friday 3:00 pm Pacific time – Sunday will ship on Monday and be received on Tuesday).
3 – Collect your saliva sample.
When your kit arrives and you are ready to collect your sample, register your kit and follow the collection instruction included. The whole process takes just a few minutes. You should not eat, drink or chew gum for 30 minutes before providing the sample.
4- Ship your testing kit back.
Your kit includes everything you need to send back your sample via overnight shipping. You may use the FedEx to return your completed kit.
5 – Receive your results within 48-72 hours after sample arrives at the laboratory
You will be emailed your results once they are available.
When will I receive my kit?
Most COVID-19 kits ordered by 3 PM PST will arrive the next day; kits ordered after 3 PM PST will likely arrive in two days. Due to FedEx shipping schedules, there may be a delay if your order is placed on a weekend or around a holiday.
How do I register my kit?
After you receive your kit, you can register it here. You will be prompted to enter the unique 12-digit barcode printed on the side of the collection tube.
Collecting your Sample
How do I collect a COVID-19 sample from home?
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What happens if I don’t collect my sample correctly?
If you are not able to collect an adequate sample or you do not ship your sample within 24 hours of collection, our lab may not be able to perform your test. If this happens, we’ll contact you to discuss next steps.
In certain cases, if you are not able to provide an adequate sample, it is possible that our lab will not be able to determine your test results. A member from our team will reach out to help you determine next steps and likely recommend that you self-quarantine to avoid community spread if you are experiencing symptoms.
How long is my sample stable for testing?
The transport kit is designed to maintain specimen stability during overnight shipping. It’s important to bring your sample to a FedEx drop box on the same day you collect it before the last pickup for Express shipping. View drop box locations and pickup schedules here.
Is it safe to send my sample in the mail?
Yes, your kit contains the appropriate shipping materials to safely send your sample to our lab.
How long after I collect the sample do I have to ship it back to the lab?
The lab must test the sample within 56 hours of it having been produced, which means that you need to ship it back to the lab as soon as possible after producing it. As is widely done already in the medical community, specialized lab tests are routinely sent to single locations for analysis from around the country. The FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for this test states that “Saliva specimens must be transported and stored at ambient temperature and tested within 56 hours of collection.” For this reason, as well as to ensure that you are able to get your results as quickly as possible, Kashi uses overnight shipping and, when necessary, insulated shipping materials, to get samples quickly back to the lab while maintaining their stability.
What does it mean if I have a positive test result?
If you have a positive test result, it indicates that RNA from several genes in the SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) were detected, and that you were infected with the virus at the time that you produced the sample. If you have a positive test result, then you are presumed to be contagious, and if you have symptoms such as fever, coughing or shortness of breath, it is very likely that you have COVID-19.
If you are having mild symptoms, per guidance from the CDC, you should self-quarantine, meaning that you should stay home and stay as far from other people living with you as you can. If you have symptoms, you should also get in touch with your healthcare provider, so that they can monitor your symptoms and be ready to provide care if your symptoms get worse. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html).
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, including, but not limited to, trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or the inability to arouse, and/or bluish lips or face, you should seek immediate medical attention. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html).
What does it mean if I have a negative test result?
A negative test result means that the virus that causes COVID-19 was not found in your sample. For COVID-19, a negative test result for a sample collected while a person has symptoms usually means that COVID-19 did not cause your recent illness. However, it is possible for this test to give a negative result that is incorrect (false negative result) in some people who are either infected with SARS-CoV-2 or who have symptoms of COVID-19. If you do have symptoms of any illness, you should contact your healthcare provider, who will take into account the test results along with your symptoms and your medical history–including possible exposures, and where you have recently traveled–in deciding how to care for you. It is important that you work with your own primary care healthcare provider to help you understand the next steps you should take. While a negative test result does not mean that you should stop following the current state, local or CDC guidelines for your area, it may help you to make decisions about your potential risk of infecting others.
Importantly, a negative test result also does not mean that you cannot contract COVID-19 in the future.
How quickly will I get my results?
Results will be available 3-5 days from purchase (time for overnight shipping to the lab is included).
You have the option of purchasing expedited overnight shipping to your home. All kits include prepaid overnight shipping to quickly transport your sample to the lab.
Results can be delivered to you within 1-2 business days of the lab receiving your sample.
Results for this test are typically available in 1-2 days after your sample has been received by the lab, but this may vary based on demand.
What will my results tell me?
This test kit will tell you whether you have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus, also referred to as COVID-19, or coronavirus.
If you have a positive test result, it is very likely that you have COVID-19. There is a very small chance that this test can give a positive result that is wrong (a false positive result).
Treatment includes managing symptoms and limiting your exposure to other people to protect from spread of disease.
Your results will be reported to state public health authorities to help inform the crucial ongoing public health response.
In certain cases, you may not receive a definitive result because of early infection or inadequate sampling. If this happens you will be contacted directly by a doctor to help you with planning your next steps.
The test can sometimes show a negative result even if you are infected SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This can happen if:
- It is too early in infection for the test to detect the virus.
- There was a problem with your sample or the test itself. A false negative result on this test may be more likely to occur if your sample was not shipped back to our lab the same day it was collected.
- If your results are negative and you’re having symptoms, continue to follow isolation precautions and ask your healthcare provider if you need further testing.
- If your results are negative and you don’t have any symptoms, continue to monitor for any symptoms up to 14 days after your last possible exposure.
Who will have access to my results?
Only you will have access to your personal results, although positive results for COVID-19 are considered “reportable diseases” and must be communicated to mandated public health reporting agencies. This information is used to track new infections for the purpose of public health awareness and response. Your results will not be shared with your insurance company or any other healthcare providers, unless you choose to share your results with your healthcare provider.