UT begins offering mail-in at-home testing kits for COVID-positive community members

Leila Saidane, Senior News Reporter

The University’s Proactive Community Testing program began offering at-home testing kits  Monday for students, staff and faculty who are self-isolating after a positive COVID-19 test result.   

UT community members who test positive through a University Health Services or PCT testing center can request for an at-home testing kit to be mailed to their isolation address while supplies last through the MyUHS patient portal, PCT program director Jessica Klima said. 

In accordance with the Center for Disease Control’s updated five-day isolation guidelines, those in isolation are advised to test the evening of their fifth day or the morning of their sixth day after testing positive if they are asymptomatic or if symptoms are improving, Klima said.

Testing negative indicates the individual is no longer infectious and can resume normal activities, Klima said. PCT recommends anyone who tests positive to wear a well-fitted mask for the next 10 full days after testing positive or symptoms began.

“This way we can encourage those folks to test in the convenience of their home, and that frees up capacity and access for testing at our other regular proactive community testing sites,” Klima said. “It keeps those test sites completely asymptomatic and a healthier place to test.”

PCT is frequently updating its website as they change their guidelines and operations, Klima said. 

“We’re providing this as an initiative to help folks identify their status at the end of their five-day isolation and (to) allow them to feel more comfortable knowing if they’re still infectious to those around them or not,” Klima said. “It’s allowing those that are still mildly symptomatic, at the tail end of their disease, to have a convenient test kit mailed to them so that they’re not having to source one themselves in the community, which we found has been difficult.”