Single folks, rejoice! Thanks to increasing vaccine availability and declining COVID-19 cases, it seems like only a matter of time before IRL dates are no longer considered a risk. And to make meeting up in person even safer, Tinder is offering free at-home COVID-19 tests, which will be made available to select members and their matches. Starting at 7 p.m. on March 20, which is the first day of spring, you'll get the chance to score two free Everlywell COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kits — one for you, and one for your next date. Convenient, no?
You can reserve the kits directly in the app, and since Tinder is only giving away 1,000 kits to 500 people, they'll be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Those kits will then ship starting on March 22. Everlywell's FDA-authorized at-home testing kits get you results 24 to 48 hours after the lab receives your sample, and since they retail for $109 each, getting two for free is a majorly good deal. Of course, no COVID test is 100% accurate, and since the coronavirus pandemic is far from over, you and your match should still practice caution when making plans for an in-person meet-up.
If you are planning an in-person date, make sure to check the latest Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 guidelines before meeting. Dining indoors at bars and restaurants can increase your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19, which is why the CDC recommends eating outdoors if possible and wearing masks at all times — both indoors and outdoors — except when you are actively eating or drinking. The CDC also recommends avoiding crowds and sitting at tables spaced at least 6 feet apart.
As of March 9, the CDC continues to recommend avoiding large gatherings, but if you are fully vaccinated, the CDC says it's now safe to gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Be sure to also discuss your boundaries and comfort level before making plans with a date. Testing for COVID-19 beforehand adds an additional layer of protection, but remember that a negative test result doesn't mean you don't have or cannot transmit COVID-19. Have fun and be safe, friends!
If you think you’re showing symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all Elite Daily's coverage of coronavirus here.