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Covid testing experience with Binax/Covid recovered

SusanSeattle

100+ Posts
I've now used the BinaxNow monitored test twice so I thought I'd share my experience.
I helped my mom with her test and also did my own test, a few weeks apart. We did this in England.

The whole process takes around 40 minutes, with the setup and waiting around. It's good to install the Navica app that binax uses and do a test run to make sure you have no technical issues. I had a problem with the microphone not being allowed that I had to fix which made it stressful at the time.

You can't open the test box until you are monitored. My mom's test was missing the swab. Luckily, I had my test box and we switched to that. Given that experience, I'll make sure to have a spare test on hand.

After we got the thankfully negative results, it was pretty easy to upload our results to the airline - we were flying with Delta.

I had a friend who had just recovered from Covid before the trip. She needed a copy of her positive PCR test (a home test is not good enough) and a copy of the letter from her doctor saying she had recovered. She was not able to upload this information beforehand and had to present it in person at the airport. It was easy, but it was nice to have a little extra time for this.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
How do they monitor you through the app? Is there a person watching you? Same for results. How do they know you are reporting correctly?

Do you buy these in the US before you leave? I have an American friend coming to Europe and would like to tell her about this. It is easier than going to a pharmacy before departure.
 

SusanSeattle

100+ Posts
It's a video call. The Navica app sends you to an emed site. A person comes on the line and you open the box in front of them, then do the test in front of them. The call continues for 15 minutes with the camera on the test card. When the time is up, a person comes back on and you review the results together. They are able to see everything and if you move the test away, it will invalidate the process. Then they send you a pdf with the results in it.

You do need to purchase beforehand. It has to be the monitored test and the only way I know to buy them is to buy them online. They are NOT the same as the binax home test that is available in a lot of stores.

 

Andrew

500+ Posts
Contest 2019 Winner!
On the Binax test I understand that you should install the Navica app before leaving the U.S.

Another option is to add proctoring to the iHealth tests, which are (usually but not always?) the tests offered for free by the U.S. government. Information at https://ihealthlabs.com/products/ihealth-verified-covid-test-service . These are in smaller boxes than the Binax, making it easier to have them in one's carry-on (necessarily the way to bring them), but the price of the proctoring makes them about the same cost as the Binax. Also I understand that the Binax lets you call whenever you're ready, but iHealth requires you to make an appointed time.
 

milgreen2

10+ Posts
I had a lot of trouble the first time around with the Binax eMed test, using it at home prior to our trip to the Bahamas in late February, so thought I would share my experience here. Part of the way they are able to proctor the test online is having a clear view of the test box itself, and all materials, and it is tricky to set up with a phone or tablet unless you have something to hold your device, which allows you to angle it. I had to use my laptop, and the camera has to be set up at an angle so the eMed proctor (a call center in India) can see the test kit on a flat surface at all times. This involved raising the laptop -- for example, having it on a table, with the test on the flat surface of a dining chair -- and angling the camera. You need to show your kit QR code, so they can verify that the kit is still valid, your passport, and the results of the test, to the camera. If using your phone, sometimes it's the front camera and sometimes the rear camera which is used. My husband and I also had some problems with the audio, and needed to use the chat function to communicate at times.

It was nerve-wracking, and I don't usually let technology get me flustered, but I totally lost my cool trying to use the iPad. Fortunately, my husband was doing his at the same time, elsewhere in the house with his laptop, so was able to walk me through it. I strongly encourage looking on youtube to see if you can find a video of someone taking the test at home, as opposed to an official Abbott video.

We ended up taking a special gizmo to hold your phone (a holiday gift from work, best ever!) on our trip, and the test taking for our flight back to the US was extremely easy and seamless. Any phone holder that allows you to tilt it should work.
 

Cameron

500+ Posts
Having just returned from Paris, I have a few comments to add.
  • I was surprised that I was asked to interpret my result, rather than hold up the test card in front of the iPhone camera.
  • I tested as early as possible on the "day before flying," just after midnight, giving me as much time as possible to prepare for a place to stay, in case of being positive. That said, I also packed an unboxed Abbott BinaxNow Antigen test (the boxes are huge). Hours prior to the proctored test, I used that one as practice, so I knew my result should be the same.
  • A travel tripod would make it easier to configure your setup for being proctored. I used a thick butcher block in my rental to raise the test kit up to a level that could be viewed at all times.
  • During the 15 minutes waiting for the result, I moved away from my phone and test, so there would be no doubt I didn't tamper with it.
During my three weeks in Paris, four of my friends tested positive. All four had four vaccines, just like me.

Yes, I'd been around all four, and the two French residents stayed in my apartment (they live in the countryside) for three nights. The friends staying with me, as well as I, tested negative before they came to my apartment. They were in many other places and around others during/after their days with me. They were around the other two, as I had been -- we sat at the same table, eating indoors one night.

Three days later, the two were flying home together to the US. One was positive; one negative. This was the first case within our group of friends. They are cousins, so the negative one decided not to abandon her cousin and stayed in Paris. You guessed it -- after the 7-day isolation, they had to test again to fly home and the other woman was positive, so they both had to extend their stay again. Finally, after 5 days, my friend found a doctor in Paris to certify they were fit to fly because they had no symptoms.

The two permanent residents in France had their results reported by the pharmacy when they tested positive on day five AFTER staying with me. They were required to isolate for 7 days, then test again. They were still positive, and had to isolate for another 5 days.

Needless to say, I'm glad I packed so many self-test kits. I tested every 3-4 days, but when my apartment guests tested positive (and were very sick), I went to a pharmacy and had an official test done for 20Euros. I was negative.

For my upcoming trip, I'll take more self-test free kits from the US government, as well as the Abbott test for my certified return.
 

PokeyMindy

100+ Posts
Having just returned from Paris, I have a few comments to add.
  • I was surprised that I was asked to interpret my result, rather than hold up the test card in front of the iPhone camera.
  • I tested as early as possible on the "day before flying," just after midnight, giving me as much time as possible to prepare for a place to stay, in case of being positive. That said, I also packed an unboxed Abbott BinaxNow Antigen test (the boxes are huge). Hours prior to the proctored test, I used that one as practice, so I knew my result should be the same.
  • A travel tripod would make it easier to configure your setup for being proctored. I used a thick butcher block in my rental to raise the test kit up to a level that could be viewed at all times.
  • During the 15 minutes waiting for the result, I moved away from my phone and test, so there would be no doubt I didn't tamper with it.
During my three weeks in Paris, four of my friends tested positive. All four had four vaccines, just like me.

Yes, I'd been around all four, and the two French residents stayed in my apartment (they live in the countryside) for three nights. The friends staying with me, as well as I, tested negative before they came to my apartment. They were in many other places and around others during/after their days with me. They were around the other two, as I had been -- we sat at the same table, eating indoors one night.

Three days later, the two were flying home together to the US. One was positive; one negative. This was the first case within our group of friends. They are cousins, so the negative one decided not to abandon her cousin and stayed in Paris. You guessed it -- after the 7-day isolation, they had to test again to fly home and the other woman was positive, so they both had to extend their stay again. Finally, after 5 days, my friend found a doctor in Paris to certify they were fit to fly because they had no symptoms.

The two permanent residents in France had their results reported by the pharmacy when they tested positive on day five AFTER staying with me. They were required to isolate for 7 days, then test again. They were still positive, and had to isolate for another 5 days.

Needless to say, I'm glad I packed so many self-test kits. I tested every 3-4 days, but when my apartment guests tested positive (and were very sick), I went to a pharmacy and had an official test done for 20Euros. I was negative.

For my upcoming trip, I'll take more self-test free kits from the US government, as well as the Abbott test for my certified return.
what an effin' nightmare. such a stressor. Not looking forward to it AT ALL. I hope whoever decides to drop the testing requirements does so before July 23rd. I've emailed my Senators and Members of Congress. BASTA!
 

milgreen2

10+ Posts
Cameron, thanks for sharing your experience. I'd forgotten that we had to interpret our results to the proctor, as well as holding up the card for them to see.
Just got over COVID and all I can say is I'm glad we were fully vaccinated and boosted +1. My husband was sicker than I was, and two days after he tested positive with a self-test (and then a rapid test at Urgent Care and a prescription for Paxlovid) I started feeling sick, but tested negative at home. We only had 1 test left and didn't want to use it, however Urgent Care must have been slammed because they never returned my calls. Finally feeling more like myself, though I never confirmed the diagnosis. Hubby tested negative yesterday, and my work requirements were just 5 days of isolation, no need to test negative before return-to-work (masking is required now at all times at work, and though I am the only one in my department not working remotely, I still adhere).

So glad we ordered the additional government test to keep on hand, and our insurer covers the costs of approved tests, so we will stock up before our fall trip to Italy. Great advice to self-test frequently so no surprises. I think I'll also schedule a 2nd booster within around 6-8 weeks of our departure, as well, for added antibodies.
 

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