August 8, 2022

Review and News

Beanie Feldstein checks POSITIVE for COVID-19 and can pass over Humorous Woman performances

Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! Question: I just received the free...

Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story!

Question: I just received the free COVID-19 home test kits that the federal government is sending out to anyone who requests it. I think that’s a great idea, so that people can have them immediately available for whenever they feel the need, or are required, to do a test. But I noticed that on the box it indicates that it expires in May of this year, which means it’s only useful for the next few months. … Why is the federal government sending out COVID-19 tests that only have a few months left of usefulness, instead of new, fresh tests?
Answer: We followed up to ask which brand you received, and they are CareStart COVID-19 Home Antigen Tests. Expiration dates for these rapid tests have been extended based on stability studies showing the tests have a longer shelf life than originally approved. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration notified the manufacturer in a letter dated Jan. 22 ( that the extension was granted.
So these particular tests are good for three months past the expiration dates on the boxes, when stored in a cool, dry place (room temperature is fine). Boxes dated March 2022 are actually good until June 30; those dated April 2022 are good until July 31; and those dated May 2022 are good until Aug. 31. This information is posted in a FAQs page at, where orders are placed, but wasn’t mentioned in the package you received. The tests you received are good through August, not May.
As for your question, the U.S. government relied on stockpiled tests, rather than new manufacturing, to most rapidly distribute 500 million tests across the country, federal officials have said. That’s why the Biden administration signed contracts with warehouses for this program and not test manufacturers, Bloomberg Law reported Jan. 11. The website began taking orders a week later, promising to mail four free COVID-19 tests to every U.S. household that wants them. We’ve heard from numerous Hawaii residents who have received their tests, as well as a few who are still waiting.
Your question highlights the fact that COVID-19 tests do have a shelf life — eight months to a year from manufacture seems common — and that the free tests mailed by the federal government are not straight from the manufacturer; some shelf life has elapsed. Anyone who receives any brand of tests from this program should check the expiration dates, as well as for extensions, if the stated date causes concern.
Consumers should be just as careful with COVID- 19 tests they purchase themselves, whether at a drugstore, online or by some other method. Check expiration dates before completing the purchase.
Q: Regarding the free COVID-19 tests, can we say which kind we want? I already downloaded the app that goes with rapid tests I bought over Christmas. I’d like to keep using that type, if they are available, rather than starting with a new app.
A: No, you can’t choose the brand when you place your order; the online form calls for your name, mailing address and email address (if you want to be able to track your order). All tests mailed out through this program are “FDA-authorized at-home rapid antigen tests,” the website says, and specific brands cannot be requested. As your question indicates, some have the user download a smartphone app to read the rapid result.
Q: When will the (Capitol) open? I mean the specific date. This is ridiculous.
A: No date was announced as of Friday afternoon. Senate President Ronald D. Kouchi said in a news release that he was working with House leadership, the governor and the Department of Accounting and General Serv­ices “to formulate a reopening plan for the Capitol,” but no specifics were included. This is the third consecutive session that lawmakers have closed the session to the general public, citing COVID-19.

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Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-500, Honolulu, HI 96813; call 808-529-4773; or email [email protected]

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