What a Spit Show — COVID Sample Mailed to NJ Home
When Jeanette Cella heard New Jersey was offering free at-home COVID test kits, she ordered four of them for her family. She got three test kits, and something else.
The kit that was supposed to be for her daughter was instead a vial of spit. It was from a Virginia man who had also ordered a test kit from his state, and sent it back.
The company that supplies the kits for New Jersey and other states blames an "isolated labeling error" for sending the man's test sample to Cella's home by mistake.
It was not an isolated incident. Vault Health says about 100 test samples were mislabeled and mailed to people who had ordered test kits instead of to a lab for processing.
Cella first posted about the incident on Facebook. She told NJ.com, "I felt like crazy has shown up on my doorstep."
When she first opened the package, she thought it might have been a mascara her daughter ordered, then saw the vial in a biohazard bag and realized it was a vial of saliva.
Vault Health told NJ.com they are reviewing the matter, and there was no risk of contamination because the vials contain a chemical that will kill any live virus.
During this latest surge in COVID, demand for testing has skyrocketed and at-home test kits have been sold at at most pharmacies.
Vault reports more than 500,000 tests have been requested and delivered in the last month.
Generally the tests are shipped out within a day of the request on-line. Once the saliva sample is send back and received, test results are generally delivered within 24-72 hours, but high demand and staff shortages could extend wait times.
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