No more Cue COVID tests

Short version of this post:

Cue Health, the company that makes the higher-accuracy home COVID tests that I’ve been relying on for years, is going out of business.

I’m going to try a different brand of tests: Metrix.

Long version:

A couple years ago, Google started supplying employees with highly accurate free home COVID tests from Cue.

(These sorts of high-quality home tests are not PCR tests as such, but they’re about as accurate as PCR tests, which is to say much more accurate than the more-widespread home antigen tests. They’re in the general category of “Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests,” also known as “NAATs” or “molecular tests.” For more, see the CDC page.)

I had occasional issues with Cue tests, but overall I loved them, and they helped me feel a lot more secure and comfortable about various COVID-related situations. So after I got laid off from Google, I continued to buy Cue tests. They were quite expensive compared to home antigen tests, but inexpensive (and fast) compared to PCR tests.

(I also bought some shares of Cue Health stock.)

Then, two weeks ago, the US FDA released a distressing (to me) announcement “warning home test users […] not to use Cue Health’s COVID-19 Tests […] due to increased risk of false results.” The FDA said that “the company made changes to these tests and these changes reduced the reliability of the tests,” and the company didn’t notify the FDA of the changes; the FDA found out about the changes during an inspection.

I was hoping that Cue would fix things. But instead, early last week, Cue laid off all of its remaining workers.

And a couple days ago, they filed for bankruptcy to wind down the business.

I’m sad about several aspects of this situation. But the biggest effect on me personally is that I need to find a new brand of high-accuracy home tests to use.

Sumana tells me that there are three other brands of FDA-authorized home NAATs: Lucira, Metrix, and 3EO. I hear that all three are a little fiddlier than Cue tests, though also less expensive. I’m mildly dubious about Lucira for various reasons (not worth going into here), so I’ve now ordered some Metrix tests. We’ll see how they go.

One Response to “No more Cue COVID tests”

  1. Naomi

    I recently used some Metrix tests for the first time. I didn’t follow the procedure correctly for the first one, but it taught me what I was doing and the second time didn’t give me the error message. When they say to do things firmly, they really mean it.


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