BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — Florida's Department of Health reported Tuesday that COVID-19 cases rose statewide 32%.
The news comes as the federal government offers four free test kits to every U.S. household.
A Boynton Beach couple took advantage of the free offer but later received kits that they're unsure will be accurate.
Alan Parness received an email just before Christmas from Medicare offering four free COVID-19 test kits. He received them last week.
"The print is rather small on the back of the box as to what the expiration date is," Parness said.
He later pointed out the expiration date was May 11, 2022.
A letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the package with the kits showed the FDA extended the expiration date for them to Nov. 11, 2022.
"So, it's still almost a couple of months past the extension date," Parness said regarding his newly-arrived kits from iHealth.
He was asked how confident he'd be that the kits would be accurate.
"Not confident at all," Parness responded. "It could probably get a false positive test or a false negative test."
The retired attorney and his wife are both in their 70s and had COVID-19 last year, which was first detected by a working home testing kit.
He is skeptical about the kits he just received.
"That's a great unknown," Parness said. "I have absolutely no idea how effective or ineffective they are after the stated expiration date."
"The result you do get may not be right," added Dr. Kitonga Kiminyo, a COVID-19 expert with the T. Leroy Jefferson Medical Society. "It may not be true, and if you are someone who is high risk for an infection, if this is a friend or family who is high risk, you really want to make sure you have the right results."
The T. Leroy Jefferson Medical Society provides treatment for the medically underserved in Palm Beach County, many of whom are minorities and senior citizens.
Kiminyo said there are plenty of working kits available at pharmacies and clinics but emphasized that ones past their expiration dates have no value.
"You need to throw that test away," Kiminyo said.
Contact 5 sent emails to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Postal Service for comment.
An HHS spokesperson told Contact 5 that this is the first complaint of its kind and the department is sending Parness four new COVID test kits.
Click here to order four free COVID-19 tests.
Call the HHS Helpline at 1-800-232-0233 for any questions or comments.
Click here to see which kits have had expiration dates extended.
Call the T. Leroy Jefferson Medical Society at 561-318-0814 with any health questions.