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'Knowledge is power': Louisville teacher relies on at-home-testing, happy about expansion plans

The Biden administration says it plans to expand at-home-testing in the new year.

When President Biden announced the plan to expand at-home-testing for the coronavirus in preparation for the winter months, one Louisville teacher jumped at the chance to test at home.

Rebecca Wells-Gonzalez said she relies on the test because she’s not willing to risk the health of her students or her family. 

 Wells-Gonzalez said testing herself every Monday puts her mind at ease.

“I’m pregnant, so that adds another layer of stress,” Wells-Gonzalez said.

She said she remembers the hassle of trying to find an available testing site. That’s why she signed up as soon as the city started offering the free at-home tests.

“We live in a community with a lot of elderly people,” Gonzalez said. “They’re still not comfortable going to the grocery store and stuff like that. For them, this allows them to, if someone’s going to come into their home, it allows them to give them a rapid test on the porch to make sure that they’re protected.”

Dr. Alan Junkins, Chief of Microbiology with Norton Healthcare, said the tests are good, but not great. There needs to be a significant amount of the virus present before the test says a person is positive. 

For an asymptomatic person, the test might not be the best. However, Junkins said they combat that by testing again one to two days later.

“By adding the serial testing in, you get a little bit more confidence in it,” Junkins said.

Dr. Mark Burns, a University of Louisville assistant professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases, said it’s important to follow the directions closely. 

“Someone that has symptoms, whether they are vaccinated or not, they need to be tested. And at-home testing is probably the easiest way to get it done,” Burns said.

Back in October, Mayor Greg Fisher announced that Louisville was one of eight cities selected for the nationwide "Say Yes to Covid Test" program. Through the program, families in 16 targeted ZIP codes are eligible to pick up at-home testing kits from several community center locations. Online ordering for the program has ended, but some locations still have tests in stock for pick-up.

As for Gonzalez, she tested negative Monday. She’ll keep making sure, twice a week, for as long as she has to.

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