By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming residents can now be tested at home for the coronavirus under a program launched by Gov. Mark Gordon using federal coronavirus relief funds, he announced Wednesday.
Gov. Mark Gordon and the Wyoming Department of Health released more information regarding the free, at-home coronavirus tests Dr. Alexia Harrist mentioned in a news conference last week.
The saliva test is administered by Vault Health and will allow residents to get results at home without needing to visit a healthcare provider.
Wyoming has purchased 75,000 tests and can more if needed. The program will supplement currently available testing options that include private healthcare providers, hospitals and some pharmacies.
The White House had previously said that expanded testing will greatly improve Wyoming’s ability to track the virus, particularly when activities move back indoors.
“This at-home, non-invasive testing option is another tool to help Wyoming slow the spread of this virus,” Gordon said in a statement. “It’s one more way we can help protect our vulnerable populations, keep businesses open, and make sure our hospital beds are available to those who need them.”
A collection kit can be ordered from https://www.vaulthealth.com/covid. The $150 testing fee will be waived for all kits shipped to a Wyoming address and all shipping is prepaid.
The saliva is collected during a supervised, online tele-health visit with a Vault test supervisor, which requires an internet connection. Samples are to be returned to Vault Health and results will be reported within 48 hours of when the sample arrives at the lab.
Wyoming businesses and community organizations are also being encouraged to take advantage of the program through a registration process expected to launch shortly.
A surge in coronavirus cases that began 4 weeks ago has seen active lab-confirmed and probable coronavirus cases rise to 1,859 as of Wednesday.
Over the past 14 days, Wyoming has averaged approximately 119 new cases per day, and the percent of COVID-19 tests with a positive result is 5%.
Wyoming has now recorded 6,914 lab-confirmed positive cases of the virus, 1,263 probable cases and 57 deaths.
More than 198,000 tests have been completed by the Wyoming Public Health Laboratory and commercial reference laboratories.