This Smart COVID Test Should Be on Your Radar Before the Holidays, a Health Reporter Says

This reporter tried a smart COVID test with thousands of high ratings. The result? "Delightful," simple...and reassuring before a busy season.

By now, most of us know far too well how COVID-19 can squash plans at the last minute. Leading up to the holidays in 2021, there appeared to be some hope of normality…but as the Delta variant wave tapered off last fall, Omicron swiftly took over. Entering this holiday season, I’m feeling a lot of hesitation as I think about those texts I received from friends last year to let me know that I’d been exposed to COVID at some sort of holiday function. Again.

While I’m cautious about COVID, I also love to host parties. A charcuterie plate on a random Monday night is enough of a reason to invite my girlfriends over. But still, there are those moments when we’re all together in an enclosed space, and we realize: we’re together. Without masks. In an enclosed space. And while we love being together—and while we may all be vaccinated—we’re also aware of the possibility that any of us could be carrying COVID and passing it to the others.

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So, if you love parties as much as I do (especially if you plan on visiting any babies, older loved ones, or immunocompromised friends or family): ahead of the holiday season, how can you be more certain that everybody you’re with is COVID-free?

Well, for a recent get-together, I asked a few of my friends to test out On/Go, a smart COVID test that allows you to easily share your results with your entire group. We found the process to use this smart COVID test relatively easy to follow, and effective for the purpose.

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How to buy a smart COVID test

On/Goat home covid testvia merchant

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Here’s the process for using this smart COVID test, On/Go:

  • Go to your smart phone’s App Store, then download the On/Go app and create an account.
  • Create a new event, title it, and set a date and time
  • Type in how many guests you’ll be inviting to your event who will need tests. This will also give you the total of how much it will cost for your order (each test is just over $8.00 each).
  • Pay, and then invite your guests who will need tests, as well. Guests create an account, insert their address, and tests will be individually delivered.
  • After your guests receive their tests, they can take them before the event and submit them within the app. Test results are then shared with you, the host.

screenshot of the On/Go app in the apple App StoreCourtesy Kiersten Hickman

Before gathering for our charcuterie night, each of my guests took a test and sent in their results to the app. On my end, the On/Go app made it easy to receive results all in one place.

Plus, if a guest ordered their own test outside the party, they could easily join in the event and still share their results—making it feasible for any last-minute invitees to take.

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What was the smart COVID test like?

On/Go at home covid test box and contentsvia merchant

My immediate thought upon taking the test was how aesthetically pleasing the entire experience was. From the packaging of the box to the design of the app, it made taking a COVID test almost…pleasant? Which is honestly something I never thought I would write.

When you take the test, the app walks you through each part step-by-step. No more squinting at a tiny piece of paper from the box to figure out how to take your test. The beautiful graphics and designs on the app will lead you through each step—even timing you properly for each nostril swab.

At first, the test seemed pretty normal compared to any other test you would buy: swab the nose, swirl it in the test solution, then press tiny drops into the COVID test.

So what makes it smart? It’s as simple as a QR code. When your 15 minutes are up, you scan the COVID test into the app and the results pop up. Then your results are submitted to your event. Once all results are in, it’s time to pop the bubbly.

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Will I take a smart COVID test again?

hand holding an On/Go at home covid test boxCourtesy Kiersten Hickman

For the sheer fact that this test was beautifully designed and the entire process was so easy—and, again, nice—I could definitely see myself taking a smart COVID test again. Especially given that the price for this COVID test is pretty reasonable, and they deliver right to your door.

However, I do think it’s important to be sensitive to whether all your guests will be comfortable with this. My friends were up for it, but after surviving the pandemic in New York City, we also rely on the honor system: if you feel even remotely sick, just don’t chance it at all.

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It’s also worth noting that the smart COVID test could be a great tool for when you’re traveling for the holidays. I’ll be flying quite a bit this season to see my family, and we’re coming from all over the country. In this case, it might be worth taking a COVID test, especially since we’ll be spending time with our grandparents. Taking a COVID test is likely something that we’ll do before gathering anyway, so having it all coordinated by one app in one space could be convenient for our busy schedules.

Plus, On/Go allows for the host to provide smart COVID tests for the entire party. So if I were to ask friends or family to take a test this holiday season, I could gift it to them and have it sent to them completely for free. Fronting the money may also make the experience easier when you’re asking someone you love to take a test. An early stocking stuffer, if you will? Could be a worthy one.

All in all, the experience was delightful, and definitely something to consider if you’ll be gathering with a whole host of people throughout the holidays.

Shop the On/Go Smart Covid Test Now

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Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a journalist and content strategist with a main focus on nutrition, health, and wellness coverage. She holds an MA in Journalism from DePaul University and a Nutrition Science certificate from Stanford Medicine. Her work has been featured in publications including Taste of Home, Reader's Digest, Bustle, Buzzfeed, INSIDER, MSN, Eat This, Not That!, and more.