A simple swab provides an enormous amount of peace of mind right now. But almost more than peace of mind, it provides guidance: Is my sore throat COVID-19? Should I stay home? Am I asymptomatic?
The issue is that testing locations are swamped and results are backlogged (unless you can pay for rapid results which aren’t even guaranteed). Several COVID-19 at-home testing kits have become available to consumers to help ease the burden on testing locations and rein in the spread of the virus.
According to a recent CivicScience poll, the majority of American adults surveyed (63%) are unlikely to purchase an at-home COVID-19 testing kit.
A little over a third were at least ‘somewhat’ likely to buy a kit to swab at home, but the majority of respondents to an additional survey were on the fence about whether or not the results would even be trustworthy. Thirty-six percent wouldn’t trust the results of a home test at all.
Past CivicScience data has shown women rather than men tend to be more cautious and concerned in their approach to the virus, so distrust in at-home test results coming from women more than men isn’t a surprise. Despite their lack of certainty though, women are still more likely to get a testing kit in the first place.
Adults 35 and older show the greatest faith in the accuracy of these at-home kits. Specifically those between 35 and 54 are overall the most likely to buy a kit but that likelihood drops off with the 55 and older group. Even though they are just as trusting as those between 35 and 54, the over 55 crowd is much less likely to actually purchase an at-home testing kit.
Being diagnosed with the virus or knowing someone who has been diagnosed increases a person’s likelihood to get a testing kit and trust the results. Concern over one’s employment situation also had an effect, with greater concern correlating with greater likelihood to buy a kit. Although, concern over employment seems to correlate only slightly with greater trust in the results of an at-home kit.
Lastly, it appears that an at-home COVID-19 test is a satisfactory in-between safety measure for people eagerly awaiting the coronavirus vaccine. American adults who say they are unsure if they will get the vaccine when it’s available align more closely with the pro-vaccine group in terms of likelihood to purchase a test kit and trust its results.