Chances are you’ve seen COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits for sale in your local pharmacy and online. These are “rapid tests” which can be self-administered, and results can be received in as little as 15-20 minutes. However, a PCR test takes a few days to return results.
To get the most accurate result, it’s important to do the self-tests properly. They aren’t difficult to do, but it is important to follow the directions carefully.
COVID-19 rapid antigen test instructions:
- Wash your hands thoroughly.
- The kit contains a collection swab, a test strip, and a small vial of liquid. Place them all on a clean surface.
- Open the collection swab and insert it into each nostril ½ to ¾ of an inch, rotating five times
- Open the large-cap on the vial and insert your swab and stir the swab 15 times.
- Squeeze the sides of the vial against the swab as you pull it out. Then put the cap back on the vial.
- Open the test strip which has both a C and a T
- Open the smaller, top cap on the vial of liquid, then squeeze three drops of your sample into the collection area of the strip.
- Set a timer for 15 minutes. Don’t disturb the test strip during this time.
- Read your test.
Many tests work similarly, but there are differences, so be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions.
Interpreting the results
If the area under the T, or test section, has no line at all, that means it’s negative for COVID-19.
If there’s a line under the T, then the test is positive for COVID. It doesn’t matter how faint or how bright the line under the T is, if it’s there, it’s a positive test for COVID.
If you test positive call your primary care physician, wear a mask, and isolate yourself from family and friends.
How accurate are at-home tests?
The Rapid Antigen Tests use “lateral flow technology”. However, sometimes people use the term “lateral flow test” when referring to Covid Self Tests. Simply put, there is no difference between rapid antigen tests and lateral flow tests (LFTs). Rapid testing uses the well-established lateral flow technology to detect proteins or antigens that are present when a person is infected with COVID-19.
Online4Pharmacy has a wide range of Rapid Antigen Tests that can be taken at home. Contact us with any questions regarding choosing a test or what to do if you’ve tested positive.