Why you should have a Covid-19 home test kit in your home

Why you should have a Covid-19 home test kit in your home

The authorized at-home COVID-19 tests have become a very important and convenient tool that people can use to check if they or any member of their family are currently infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. FDA authorized at-home COVID-19 tests are safe to use when following the test’s step-by-step instructions.

Covid-19 self-tests give immediate results and can be taken anywhere you are, regardless of your vaccination status or whether or not you have shown symptoms.

These tests can detect current infection and are sometimes also called “home tests,” “at-home tests,” or “over-the-counter (OTC) tests” and they give results in a few minutes. They are different from laboratory-based tests that may take days to return your result.

When you have COVID-19 symptoms like fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea, test yourself immediately.

When going for an indoor event or a large gathering, a home test kit would help get you tested before or as close to the time of your event as possible. This is very crucial before gathering with individuals, especially if it is a mix of people at risk of serious disease, older adults,  people who are not up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines, those who are immunocompromised and even kids who cannot get vaccinated yet.

You can order your home test kit here 

How to use a home test kit

You could start by reading the complete manufacturer’s instructions for use before using the test and then proceed to wash your hands before. Hands should also be washed after you collect a nasal specimen for your test.

In order to use an at-home test, you need to collect a nasal specimen and then test that specimen.

Following instructions is important as if you do not follow the manufacturer’s instructions, your test result may be incorrect.

If your test turns out positive, it means you have an infection. Ensure you stay home for at least 5 days and isolate yourself from others in your home. 

Reach out to your close contacts in the past few days before your test and notify them.

Also wear a well-fitted mask when around others. In case you have any emergency warning signs, seek emergency care immediately.

You should also reach out to a healthcare professional if your symptoms get worse if you feel you are more likely to get very sick because you are an older adult if you have an underlying medical condition and if you have questions about your isolation.

If your test did not detect the virus, your test would read negative. However, this does not rule out an infection.

Some self-tests are designed to be used in a series. This is also known as serial testing. Try repeating the test 24 to 48 hours later. Carrying out multiple negative tests increases the confidence that you are not infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.

It is recommended that we keep all parts of at-home COVID-19 test kits out of reach from children and pets before and after use and store the at-home COVID-19 test in its box until we are ready to use it. 

As stated earlier following the manufacturer’s step-by-step test instructions is important for accurate test results. 

In case the kit was mishandled, get medical help if skin or eye irritation does not go away after exposure or after a person or animal swallows the liquid solution.

The FDA will keep monitoring safety issues around at-home COVID-19 tests and is committed to protecting public health and assuring the safe use of these tests.