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Free At-Home COVID-19 Tests Are An 'Additional Tool' For Wisconsin's Fight Against COVID-19

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Wisconsin residents ages four and up can now get free at-home COVID-19 tests.

Wisconsin residents ages four and up can now get at-home COVID-19 test kits for free through a partnership between the state of Wisconsin and Vault Medical Services.

The kits come with all of the supplies to conduct the saliva test, but you must have internet and a device with a camera as every test has to be conducted with a licensed health care professional over Zoom.

“[The test kit is] gonna come with some information to help you connect to a provider from Vault via Zoom and they will actually have you do that test via Zoom and they’ll walk you through the steps and you’ll have a provider to help you along the way,” explains Traci DeSalvo, acting director of the Bureau of Communicable Diseases at the Wisconsin Department of Health.

After completing the tests, they are mailed back through UPS. DeSalvo says that the current wait time is two days from when the package is received by UPS to when results will be sent back from the testing lab.

DeSalvo says that people will be allowed to order the tests ahead of when they actually need them, so the kits can be kept in the medicine cabinet or somewhere else safe and can be used right away when someone is experiencing symptoms or maybe have been exposed to COVID-19.

At-home tests will not replace any other means of testing and are meant to offer Wisconsinites more options to be tested.

“Of course, going to your provider is one way to get a test, those community testing sites, and this is really just an additional tool in the tool box,” says DeSalvo.

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Joy Powers joined WUWM January 2016 as producer for Lake Effect. Most recently, she was a director and producer for The Afternoon Shift, on WBEZ-fm, Chicago Public Radio.