Updated: November 19, 2020 11:27 PM
Created: November 19, 2020 07:16 PM
(ABC 6 News) - The Minnesota Department of Health is placing a temporary limit on how many at-home saliva kits are shipped per day.
Since the kits became available on November 12, MDH said more than 153,000 tests have been requested, causing a delay in deliveries. Officials said the overwhelming desire to have an at-home kit is what prompted the cap.
For Rochester mom, Karissa Krause, the news came as a surprise.
"A friend posted that they had applied for them online and shared the link," she said.
After reading through her friend's post and learning how easy the process was, Krause decided to order kits for her own family. The link was supposed to take her to the MDH website where you're supposed to be able to order a free kit.
"My kids are traveling over Thanksgiving to see their elderly grandparents and being that we wanted to be responsible and just make sure that they aren't asymptomatic, I thought that would be a perfect non-invasive way," said Krause.
Unlike the nasal swab, Krause said the saliva test seemed more reasonable for her smaller children, but once on the site, she said she was asked to put in credit card information.
"Then it told me that it was going to charge me $119 dollars per kit," said Krause.
Confused about the cost, and unaware of the limit on orders, Krause left the browser.
According to MDH, the website where the free kits are available is tied to another website called Vault Health. You can purchase kits from its site directly, or through a Minnesota link for free.
Officials said if you are being prompted to put in credit card information exit the browser and try again using the site on MDH.
Full statement from the Minnesota Department of Health:
"Since the COVID-19 Test at Home program was made available statewide on November 12, Minnesotans have ordered more than 153,000 tests. Due to the high volume, some Minnesotans have experienced shipping delays. Our team is working closely with UPS and other delivery partners to get all tests to those who ordered them and ask for patience as delivery catches up with the overwhelming demand.
To manage the high demand, over the next several days we will be capping the number of daily tests available at 12,500. We expect this to only be a temporary cap, as the delivery, catches up with demand.
In addition, we ask people to not hold onto their tests. Take the test and send it in. If you have COVID-19, the sooner you know, the sooner you can take steps to prevent spreading it to others. If you need another test in the coming weeks, you can simply order another one."
You can also encourage viewers to check the COVID-19 testing webpage, which includes information about in-person saliva testing and in-person nasal-swab testing at locations throughout MN.
For the credit card rumor:
A photo is required, but not a credit card number. If someone is being asked for their credit card, something is wrong and they’re being treated as a general public retail option (through Vault Health directly, not through the state of Minnesota). Close the browser and reopen a new one and make sure you’re using Minnesota’s link.
Note, we do ask that people who have health insurance bring their insurance card. That could also be where the confusion is coming up.
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