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A COVID-positive working mom says her child care situation will require her to spend hundreds on at-home tests. Here’s why

July 9, 2022, 9:00 AM UTC
Photo illustration by Getty Images

After testing positive for COVID last Sunday, Jessica Hische’s family members each took COVID tests. Since then, her three kids and husband have had to test daily so her kids can attend school and camp. 

The family goes through four tests a day–one simply for her husband to drop their children off. Hische has not tested since getting her positive result, and when she does, her testing costs will increase.

Her two boys, ages 3 and 5, are attending preschool and her daughter, age 7, attends a summer day camp. Both require a daily negative test because someone in their household has tested positive. 

“I was really happy that they had a way for us to send our kids without them having to stay home and isolate,” said Hische, who intends to submit claims to her insurance for the tests in an attempt to obtain reimbursement. “But at the same time, the amount of tests really adds up.”

Each COVID test kit comes with two individual tests and costs Hische $17.99 before tax. At around 25 tests a week, she’s looking at around $400 for less than two weeks.

Inflation is at a 40-year high, with the cost of everything from gas to groceries rising quickly. The added financial burden of buying COVID tests in bulk is not something everyone can manage at this time. 

“I wanted to share because people don’t really understand what happens when it hits a house because I didn’t really get it either,” Hische told Fortune, adding that she and her husband are lucky because they’re both high earners who can float the added expense.

She thinks those who couldn’t keep up with the cost of tests would need to take off work, stay home, and isolate themselves with their kids, potentially resulting in lost wages.

“You just don’t realize before you go through it how many tests you have to go through,” Hische said.

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