Yes—you can still order a DNA kit right now
Here's what to know
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This might seem like a weird time to take a DNA test, it's true. The idea of sending off your saliva might feel a little bizarre given quarantine recommendations and CDC guidelines. However, a lot of DNA testing companies are actually encouraging their customers to participate right now, especially given that those that have had coronavirus themselves can contribute to one of several DNA-based studies to help unravel how the virus works and how it affects us.
The process of testing your DNA has not changed much, as you take the samples in your own home and the kits are shipped. The only thing that might have changed due to the pandemic is the speed with which you get your results, as well as shipping speeds due to shipping delays nationwide.
If you're curious about what exactly taking a DNA test entails, we talked about what a DNA test can offer you in terms of your ancestry and health in our guide to whether or not you should gift a testing kit, and you can also investigate the different DNA testing options. Below are a few DNA testing kits still operating and the different measures they're taking to be safe during the pandemic; it should be noted that none of these DNA testing kits can be used to test for COVID-19.
AncestryDNA is still offering its services and is in the process of determining how helpful its testing service can be to COVID research. Sending in your saliva samples is still safe, and it still uses the model of at-home testing and shipping your samples back to the lab. Results are delivered digitally, and its website offers extensive information regarding what to expect from the tests and how to interpret your results.
On its COVID-19 FAQ page, Ancestry notes that it's working to keep its researchers and lab workers protected during the crisis. While it's not conducting its own study, all data that Ancestry collects that might be relevant to COVID-19 research is de-identified, so that your personal information is not at risk, and is provided free of charge to qualified researchers helping to develop vaccines and treatments.
23andMe is still accepting testing kits and has a variety of plans to suit your needs. It offers Ancestry + Trait Services and Health + Ancestry Services, and when you receive the kit there are instructions included regarding how to take your own saliva sample and send them back. All samples are handled with PPE in a CLIA-certified lab, so if you're worried about spreading your germs to others, you're taken care of.
23andMe is currently in the process of conducting COVID-19 research and is offering free DNA testing kits to those that have been tested positive for COVID-19, with the goal of investigating and finding explanations for the range of symptoms across age groups and demographics. If you've had COVID-19 and decide to participate, you'll get access to all the perks the 150+ personalized reports about your ancestry and traits, as well as the chance to contribute to COVID-19 research. Its current survey count is 10,000 strong and it's still accepting participants.
MyHeritage offers a 14-day free trial that offers access to its historical records and family tree, but if you're looking for more in-depth results and a better understanding of your heritage with your DNA, it also offers DNA testing kits. Its kits are currently on sale for $39, and they are still testing kits during the COVID pandemic.
While MyHeritage doesn't have a lot of information regarding its safety measures during the crisis, it is working to actively combat the spread, having donated 66,000 swabs to Israel to help set up a testing lab. As with other DNA testing services, its workers test in a CLIA-certified lab.
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