Bay Area officials a providing at-home coronavirus test kits to its residents to help them take control of their health into their own hands.

Scientists said people will still have to use a long swab and put it up to their nose for the test kit. However, they said the testing kits are easy to use and are called BinexNow. Starting this week, Bay Area retail pharmacies will be putting the kits on sale.

At-Home Testking Kits

Residents will be able to get results within 15 minutes of testing using the convenient kits. “We’re moving to a new dawn of testing, one that is personally convenient and potentially as easy to implement into somebody’s life as brushing your teeth, which has been a dream of many people from the beginning of the pandemic,” Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Peter Chin-Hong said.

Experts said that while vaccinations are steadily increasing, testing for the coronavirus remains an essential tool in fighting the pandemic. There are other self-collection kits available in recent months, but none provide immediate results like BinexNOW. Most of the other testing kits have a 24 to 72 hour waiting period.

However, despite its convenience, BinexNOW is not 100% accurate in determining whether or not a person has the COVID-19 virus. Many people will also be turned off by its $25 price for two tests, making it inaccessible for daily use.

Across the region, official testing rates have significantly dropped. Since January’s peak, the numbers have fallen 56%, the California Department of Public Health revealed. On April 22, there were a total of 209,618 tests administered compared to January 4 with 477,718.

“People are increasingly unwilling to drive an hour out of their way or sit in a parking lot to get a test. It’s crucial that these tests become more and more accessible,” Harvard Epidemiologist Dr. Michael Mina said, Mercury News reported.

People across the country needed quick and easy testing kits in the early days of the pandemic. However, critics said the government failed to properly respond to the health crisis, which ultimately prevented private alternatives from reaching the market.