In a Nutshell
- Follow up telehealth consult
- Simple testing instructions
- Results from a CLIA-certified lab
- Samples don’t get tested on Sundays
- No antibody tests offered
Everlywell at a Glance
Why Go With Everlywell
Everlywell offers both convenience and reliability when it comes to at-home COVID-19 testing. The company partners exclusively with CLIA-certified laboratories and has a local board-certified physician review the results of your test before sending them on to you.
What it Tests For
Everlywell sells an rt-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) test that can detect if you are currently positive for COVID-19. The rt-PCR kit is sensitive to the presence of genomic markers of COVID-19. Unlike antibody test kits that are for sale from other at-home testing platforms, Everlywell’s kit cannot reveal if you’ve had COVID-19 in the past and have since recovered from it.
How it Works
Everlywell’s COVID-19 test consists of an at-home sample collection kit that you’ll receive and return by mail. After you’ve purchased and received your Everlywell COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit, you’ll need to register it on Everlywell’s website.
Next, you’ll follow the service’s detailed instructions to correctly collect your nasal swab sample and disinfect the return package. Once the test sample is collected, it must be dropped off on the same day at a UPS drop box location. When Everlywell has determined whether your sample contains genomic markers for COVID-19, the results will be made available to you on the Everlywell website.
What’s in the Box?
The Everlywell testing kit comes with a return shipping box, kit ID stickers, absorbent sheet, return envelope, an alcohol prep pad, a tube containing saline solution, and a testing swab.
To use this kit you must be over the age of 18. Before you can purchase it, you’ll also have to pass a quick eligibility screening questionnaire. As part of that, you’ll need to answer questions about your current symptoms and what exposure to COVID-19 you have had.
The company also recommends that, before ordering this test, you consult your healthcare provider if you have any pre-existing conditions or other factors that make you more likely to have a severe illness due to COVID-19.
The Everlywell test requires you to provide a lower nasal test sample. This means the kit contains a swab which needs to be inserted approximately 1 inch into your nostril. To ensure you collect your sample correctly, you should watch Everlywell’s instructional sample collection video.
Before collecting the sample, prepare and disinfect the space you will be using. Blow your nose and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds using soap and water. Next, locate the perforation close to the tip of your swab.
After that, tilt your head back at a 45-degree angle and insert the swab while holding it below the perforation line. Continue inserting the swab slowly until gentle resistance is met, which should happen when the swab is approximately 1-inch deep. After that, using a small amount of pressure, rotate the swab 3 times around the nasal wall. Finally, remove the swab and repeat the process using your other nostril.
After swabbing your nostril, place the swab tip down into the sample tube, being careful not to spill any of the liquid the tube it contains. Break off the swab at the perforated line and tightly seal the tube’s cap before placing it into the biohazard bag along with the absorbent sheet.
If you fail to place the swab in the tube and correctly seal both within the included biohazard bag, Everlywell will not be able to process your test. The same applies if the sample expires before Everlywell’s lab can process it.
How Long for Results?
After you place an order for Everlywell’s COVID-19 testing kit through the company’s website, your pack will be sent out within 2 business days. After it's mailed, it should take 2 to 5 business days to get to you. Once your kit arrives and you have collected your sample, you can repackage it and send it back to Everlywell’s lab using an included prepaid UPS shipping label.
As the company points out, UPS shipping times are unpredictable at the moment. As such, although you can purchase an expedited shipping option, it’s not clear how many days it will take for Everlywell’s lab to receive your sample. When the lab does get your sample, it will typically process it and notify you of the results within 72 hours, although no processing tests are done on Sundays.
Taking shipping and testing times into account, it’s clear that, in many cases, it will take more than a week to get your results after placing your initial Everlywell order. For this reason, most customers should opt for expedited shipping.
When your sample has been processed and the results are available, Everlywell will send you a notification email. You will then be able to log onto the Everlywell site and review your results which will simply state whether or not you are infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Everlywell says that each test result is reviewed by a board-certified physician from your state and the collection kit has received emergency authorization from the FDA. As part of our Everlywell review, we reached out to the company for further details and received confirmation that this kit “meets or exceeds the FDA’s requirements for COVID-19 test accuracy”.
If your Everlywell COVID-19 test comes back positive, Everlywell’s telehealth partner will get in touch to give you a consultation at no additional charge. During this consultation, you will be given advice about steps you can take to protect your community.
The Everlywell COVID-19 Test Home Collection kit costs $109. Regular shipping is free but you can upgrade to overnight shipping for an additional $15. This is approximately in line with the rates charged by other at-home COVID-19 testing services.
Everlywell customer support agents are available during standard Central Time working hours. You can reach them by submitting a support ticket.
Everlywell has a straightforward at-home testing kit for COVID-19. However, lengthy shipping times may make this less useful for customers in need of a quick result.