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Government distribution includes at-home tests made by Indianapolis-based Roche Diagnostics

Roche is manufacturing tens of millions of their new rapid COVID-19 test kits monthly and has already delivered the first shipment

INDIANAPOLIS — If you signed up to get free rapid at-home COVID-19 tests kits from the federal government, you should see them in your mailbox in the next seven to 12 days.   

You can't choose the brand that will arrive, but there are several possibilities, including one made by Roche Diagnostics, whose North American headquarters is based in Indianapolis.

The rapid antigen test from Roche uses a nasal swab and provides results in about 20 minutes. 

“These tests, they don’t require equipment. Anybody can use them,” said Dr. Jamie Phillips-Deeter at Roche.

And compared to the PCR test, which Phillips-Deeter said is considered the gold standard and the most accurate when it comes to detecting COVID, the new antigen test has a 95% sensitivity rate, according to clinical trials. It can detect all the variants.

“That is why it’s so valuable and that’s why it will enable and empower people to make decisions that will hopefully limit the spread of the virus to others,” Phillips-Deeter said.

According to Roche, they’re manufacturing tens of millions of their new test kits every month, with the first shipment already in the hands of the federal government.

RELATED: Here's how to get free N95 masks from the government, starting next week

“We are just super excited to be able to have these to be able to be a part of the government’s initiative,” Phillips-Deeter said.

Eventually, the tests will also be on store shelves.

“This test will be available for retail and those channels are currently being worked out,” said Phillips-Deeter. 

This is the ninth test by Roche that has received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.

RELATED: Roche Diagnostics gets OK from FDA to mass-produce at-home COVID-19 test

Roche said this newest rapid at-home test is best used upon seeing first symptoms of the virus. But if you do get a negative result and still feel sick, doctors say you should test again.

“It’s recommended that you repeat testing within three days,” said Phillips-Deeter.