We’ve come a long way from the early days of COVID when most of us found COVID tests to be hard to come by. Now, COVID home test kits are available in drug stores all over the country, and these home test kits give you results in minutes. No more waiting for days to get your results.
But these COVID home test kits can also come with their own set of questions. What’s the best way to use them? What’s the best time to use them? What steps can we take to make sure the results we get are as accurate as possible?
We’re going to answer all those questions in this article.
When to take the COVID Home Test
There are several instances in which you might want to take a COVID test at home, including:
- If you’ve been experiencing symptoms, such as coughing, loss of sense of smell, fever, etc.;
- If you’re getting ready to travel;
- If you’ve recently been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID, even if you have not been experiencing symptoms;
- If you’re getting ready to see friends/family and you want to make sure you can interact with them safely, especially if some of them are at a high risk for contracting a serious case of COVID.
How to Take a COVID Home Test
Now that you know when to test yourself for COVID, let’s go over the best practices for taking a COVID home test.
First, it’s important to recognize that each kit only contains enough materials to perform one test. If you want to perform multiple tests for COVID, you’ll need to buy multiple COVID home test kits. If you try using any item in the kit multiple times, it could affect the results of future tests, so always start with a new kit for each COVID test you perform.
Second, make sure you haven’t had anything to eat or drink for at least 30 minutes prior to performing the COVID home test to avoid the risk of interfering with the results of the test.
If you’ve had a nosebleed in the past 24 hours, swab the other nostril, or wait 24 hours.
Preparing for Your Test
Start by making sure you have 15 minutes of uninterrupted time to perform your test. Once the seal on the test strip has been broken, it needs to be used within half an hour, so do your best to avoid interruptions while you’re taking the test. Avoiding interruptions will also help ensure you don’t make any mistakes during the testing process.
The area where you perform your test needs to be as clean and dry as possible to avoid any risk of contamination, so start by prepping your area, including thoroughly washing your hands.
Next, you’ll need to check to make sure you have all the items listed in your COVID home test kit. If anything is damaged or broken, don’t use it. Instead, you’ll need to get another test kit.
Follow the instructions provided by the COVID home test kit.
Wait 15 minutes before reading your results. A positive result could take up to 15 minutes to appear, so in order to avoid recording a false negative, you need to wait the full 15 minutes to make sure your test is as accurate as possible.
Once you’ve recorded your result and the date, safely dispose of your test kit. Remember the kit now contains your bodily fluids, so it’s important to dispose of it as soon and as safely as possible to make sure no one else comes into contact with it even if the test produces a negative result.
What to Do if You Test Positive for COVID
If your test shows a positive result for COVID, it’s important to record the date and quarantine for at least 14 days. If you are not experiencing symptoms, or your symptoms are mild, you should not go to the hospital, but you should inform everyone with whom you’ve been in contact for the past 14 days that you tested positive for COVID and that they might want to test themselves.
At ESTCO, we pride ourselves on keeping all our staff and customers as safe as possible, no matter what’s going on in the world. So if you need an accurate COVID home test kit, look no further than our own rapid test kit.