WHEELING W.Va. – (WTRF) When looking to get at-home COVID-19 test kits, it’s critical that you’re purchasing the real thing.


Now you can order free testing kits from the U.S Government, that will be delivered thought USPS. The order includes 4 individual rapid antigen COVID-19 tests.  

However, there are other places you can purchase tests. Many local pharmacies like CVS, Walmart, and Walgreens now carry a limited supply at a variety of price points. 

Howard Gamble, the Administrator at the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department, says not every kit looks the same.  

Keep in mind, the test kit you receive may be difference then your neighbor’s test kit. These are not going to all be the same type and the same series. They will change as kits change and evolve and go out to the general population and they may change from what you can pick up at the grocery store or pharmacy as well.

Howard Gamble, Administrator at the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department

Finding an at-home test kit has become more difficult. With the rising number of cases, many people have turned to other sources to find tests.  

But beware, cheap at-home tests have begun to circulate online. They’ve been seen on sites like Facebook, Instagram, Ebay, Craigslist, you name it and they’re even offered in bulk. 

Gamble says like anything, when you buy from a third-party seller, you’re taking a risk. He says at-home kits should be used only if you have symptoms. You don’t need to stock up.

Don’t use them to say, ‘oh I don’t have any symptoms can I go out?’ That is not necessary. If you need to have it confirmed or yes, I need to know if this is COVID, you can always use a free testing site, the Urgent care centers, or rapid care centers, to know definitively through a PCR test that it is COVID.

Howard Gamble, Administrator at the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department

He says buying tests from unreliable sources could result in false negatives. Gamble says make sure you’re purchasing an FDA approved kit from a reliable source or simply go to a free testing site nearby to ensure you’re taking a real test.