New Jersey’s Vault testing for COVID-19 not working as intended as hundreds of thousands didn’t return tests

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TRENTON, NJ – The Vault at-home testing service offered by the state of New Jersey isn’t working as well as the state hope it would. Part of the problem is the service is an inconvenience. The other part of the problem is the service is limited daily. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said over 400,000 Vault test kits were mailed to residents who requested them and only 50,000 were returned.

The main problem is the highly inconvenient process that requires you to make an appointment and take the test while another human being is watching, albeit virtually. If you don’t have a Vault representative watch you do the test, you won’t get your results, the program states.

Vault only allows 30,000 test kits per day, running out most days of the week.

“The state has also partnered with Vault Health to offer free at-home saliva tests. To order a test that can be shipped to your home, visit,” NJ Department of Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said. “As of today, 463,457 residents have ordered test kits. However, due to a nationwide inventory constraints of test kits overall, Vault has capped the number of daily requests for New Jersey to 30,000 per day. If you try to request a kit and get a message stating that the cap has been reached for that day, please try again the next morning.”

Persichilli also hinted that the positives reported by the Vault system are not being included in the state’s daily totals when it comes to sequencing the virus to determine variants.

“We just make the assumption that it’s the same as the state. Over 400,000 tests have been requested but about 40 or 50,000 have been returned, so sample size right now is small,” Persichilli said. “At the end of the day, the positivity of Vault only is just de minimis and in terms of what we’re seeing every day in terms of overall test positivity.”

Department of Health Medical Advisor Dr. Ed Lifshitz said the Vault system will not tell you whether you have omicron or another strain of the COVID-19 virus.

“Vault like the vast majority of clinical laboratories out there are running a PCR test,” Lifshitz said. “They’re running a test to see whether you have the virus or not. They’re not running the sequencing testing on most or almost all the samples that have been provided to them.”

For many, by the time they received their Vault test, they were able to either get tested at a testing facility or perform an over-the-counter at-home COVID-19 test, making the Vault test that comes days later, with results even more days later, unnecessary.

Vault at-home tests retail for $90 each from the company. Binax at-home tests sold in pharmacies cost about $25 for a package of two test kits.