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Doctors applaud Biden's plan to make at-home rapid tests free, but supply and accuracy issues a concern

News 12
News 12
 2021-12-03

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President Joe Biden announced plans to make at-home rapid tests free Thursday as part of his winter coronavirus strategy.

While experts say more frequent testing will help stop the spread of COVID-19, there are still issues with at-home rapid tests.

They are flying off the shelves at local pharmacies.

"Ever since they started coming in, I'd had a very hard time keeping it in stock," says Nidhan Mihan, who works as a pharmacist.

At-home rapid tests aren't as reliable as a test in a lab or medical facility, but experts say they are still useful. The accuracy is about 86%, according to doctor.

At-home tests currently cost anywhere from $24 to $40. Biden plans to make the United States government require private health insurers to reimburse customers for the cost of these tests.

Northwell Health medical director Dr. Randolph DiLorenzo says the announcement should lead to more testing, which is a good thing.

"More frequent testing is better if you're meeting with your families and you're more concerned," DiLorezno says. "This is a perfect test to do at home."

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