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Vault Health NJ: How to Get a Free At-Home COVID-19 Test Kit

Vault Health NJ is a program that provides free at-home COVID-19 test kits for New Jersey residents. The test kits are saliva-based PCR tests that are shipped to the residents’ homes and processed by a certified lab. The test results are available within 24 to 48 hours after the sample is received by the lab. In this blog post, we will explain how Vault Health NJ works, what are the benefits and limitations of the program, and how to order a test kit online.

How Vault Health NJ Works

Vault Health NJ is a partnership between the New Jersey Department of Health and Vault Medical Services, a New York-based company that specializes in at-home COVID-19 testing. The program aims to increase the availability and accessibility of testing, especially for those who may not be able to get to a testing site or who prefer to test at home.

To get a test kit, residents must create a Vault account on the website. A phone number and birth date are needed to start an account, but an email address and credit card information are not required. Vault will then send the test kit via next-day delivery to the resident’s address.

The test kit contains a test tube, a saliva funnel, a cap, a biohazard bag, a return label, and instructions. The resident must not eat, drink, smoke, or chew anything for 30 minutes before taking the test. The resident must also log into their online Vault patient portal, where they enter a virtual waiting room. After the health-care professional gives the patient instructions on taking the test, the patient spits into the tube through the funnel until it reaches the fill line. The patient then seals the tube with the cap, places it in the biohazard bag, and ships it back to Vault using the prepaid UPS package.

The sample is then sent to a CLIA-certified lab for analysis. The lab uses a PCR method to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The test results are emailed to the patient within 24 to 48 hours after the sample is received by the lab. The results are also reported to the state health department for public health purposes.

What Are the Benefits and Limitations of Vault Health NJ

Vault Health NJ has several benefits and limitations that residents should be aware of before ordering a test kit. Some of the benefits are:

  • It is free for New Jersey residents. There is no cost for ordering, shipping, or processing the test kit.
  • It is convenient and easy. Residents can order and take the test at home without having to go to a testing site or make an appointment.
  • It is reliable and accurate. The test uses a PCR method, which is considered the gold standard for COVID-19 testing. The test has a high sensitivity and specificity, meaning it has a low chance of false negatives or false positives.
  • It is supervised and secure. The test is supervised by a health-care professional via Zoom who guides the patient through the process and ensures proper collection of the sample. The test is also secure and confidential, as Vault uses encryption and HIPAA-compliant protocols to protect the patient’s data.

Some of the limitations are:

  • It is not available for everyone. The test is only available for New Jersey residents who have a valid phone number and address. The test is not available for people who live in nursing homes, prisons, or other congregate settings.
  • It is not suitable for everyone. The test is not suitable for people who have symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 within 14 days. These people should seek medical attention and follow isolation or quarantine guidelines.
  • It is not instantaneous or guaranteed. The test results depend on how fast the sample reaches the lab and how busy the lab is. There may be delays or errors in shipping or processing that could affect the turnaround time or accuracy of the results.
  • It is not definitive or conclusive. The test results only reflect whether the patient had COVID-19 at the time of taking the test. The results do not indicate whether the patient has immunity or protection from COVID-19 in the future. The results also do not replace medical advice or diagnosis from a health-care provider.

How to Order a Test Kit Online

To order a test kit online, residents need to follow these steps:

  1. Visit the website and click on “Get Started”.
  2. Enter your phone number and birth date to create an account.
  3. Confirm your address and shipping information.
  4. Review and agree to the terms and conditions.
  5. Wait for the confirmation email and tracking number.
  6. Receive the test kit in the mail and follow the instructions to take the test.
  7. Ship the sample back to Vault using the prepaid UPS package.
  8. Wait for the test results in your email and online Vault patient portal.

Conclusion

Vault Health NJ is a program that provides free at-home COVID-19 test kits for New Jersey residents. The test kits are saliva-based PCR tests that are shipped to the residents’ homes and processed by a certified lab. The test results are available within 24 to 48 hours after the sample is received by the lab. The program has several benefits and limitations that residents should be aware of before ordering a test kit. The program also has a simple and easy online ordering process that residents can follow to get a test kit.

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