Various at-home test for the coronavirus is available to determine if you have COVID-19, a coronavirus-related sickness. Rapid tests that give you findings in minutes at home and home collection kits sent to a lab for analysis are among them.
They may be purchased from drugstores and other merchants for $10 and above each test. Self-tests are also available from specific local health departments, frequently for free. Some tests may be reimbursed by insurance, but not all are.
Self-test kits work similarly to home pregnancy tests in that you swab yourself and obtain results in a few minutes.
Self-collection kits need you to register for the test online, take your swab, and send it to the testing firm through express mail. You can obtain your findings online, via email, or by SMS. They might be ready in as little as 24 hours after the lab gets your swab; however, if there’s a backlog, it could take longer.
What Are COVID-19 Rapid At-Home Tests Available?
The majority of COVID-19 self-collection kits are molecular (also known as PCR) tests, which are the most precise sort of COVID-19 test. These can be performed on a nose swab or a saliva sample.
Antigen tests, which check for molecules on the surface of the COVID-19 virus, are self-test kits that provide rapid findings. These tests, which are less costly than molecular testing, need a nose swab. The FDA advises that these swabs should only be used in your nose, and you might choke or obtain an inaccurate result if you put them down your throat.
Some self-tests are intended to be used just once. Others need you to take additional tests within two to three days to validate your results. Follow the manufacturer’s directions to the letter. Consult your doctor if you have any questions regarding your results.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor if you’re unsure which home test to get. For further information, go to the FDA’s website.
QuickVue. This is also an antigen test that can be purchased over the counter. For roughly $25, you receive two tests. After swabbing, soak the swab in a solution for 10 minutes. After that, you immerse a paper strip in the resolution, and it changes color to show if something is favorable or harmful.
On/GO. This antigen test may be completed in less than 10 minutes through a smartphone app.
Cue. This COVID-19 test is a molecular one, identifying the virus’s genetic material.
Flowflex from ACON Laboratories. In October 2021, the FDA granted this antigen test an emergency use authorization (EUA).
Some fast at-home test for the coronavirus, such as the following, require a prescription:
Volume. This one will set you back around $30. It utilizes an app to walk you through the procedure of using a nose swab to get results in 15 minutes.
All-In-One from Lucia Health. It costs less than $50 and requires you to collect a sample using a swab, placing it in a solution vial. The vial is then placed in a battery-operated, portable instrument. A light on the gadget reveals whether the result is negative or positive after 30 minutes.
Schedule a PCR test with your doctor, pharmacy, or other testing centers if you have potential COVID-19 symptoms and cannot acquire a home test.
How Does a COVID-19 Test at Home Work?
COVID-19 lateral flow tests, also known as COVID-19 at-home or quick diagnostic tests, perform similarly to at-home pregnancy tests. Unlike a PCR test, a lateral flow test is designed to examine several types of body fluids in a simple, disposable kit. The tests can be utilized outside medical institutions for a rapid result or when mass population screening is required because they require little to no training as long as clear instructions are followed. The outcome is usually ready in 15 to 30 minutes.
Unlike a pregnancy test, which examines hormone levels in urine, the COVID-19 lateral flow test for the coronavirus will have specific antibodies for SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins. It will be used to analyze samples obtained through a nose or bronchial tube.