What a spitting show. COVID sample mailed home from NJ


When Jeanette Cella heard New Jersey was offering free at-home COVID test kits, she ordered four for her family. She got three test kits, and something else.

The kit that was supposed to be for his daughter was more of a vial of saliva. It was from a man in Virginia who also ordered a test kit in his state and returned it.

The company that supplies the kits for New Jersey and other states blames an “isolated labeling error” for mistakenly sending the man’s test sample to Cella’s home.

It was not an isolated incident. Vault Health says about 100 test samples were mislabeled and mailed to people who ordered test kits instead of being sent to a lab for processing.

Cella first posted the incident on Facebook. She told NJ.com“I felt like a madman showed up at my door.”

When she first opened the package she thought it might have been mascara ordered by her daughter, then saw the bottle in a biohazard bag and realized that it was a vial of saliva.

Vault Health told NJ.com they are looking into the matter and there is no risk of contamination because the vials contain a chemical that will kill any live virus.

During this latest COVID outbreak, demand for testing skyrocketed and home testing kits were sold at most pharmacies.

Vault reports that over 500,000 tests have been requested and delivered in the past month.

Typically, tests are shipped within one day of online request. Once the saliva sample is returned and received, test results are usually delivered within 24 to 72 hours, but high demand and staffing shortages could extend wait times.

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