As COVID-19 continues to cause worldwide panic in the form of variants practically fashioned from Marvel’s Loki TV series, it’s even more crucial for you to take a test.
If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms, you can now know your health status from the comfort of your home with simple covid testing.
You can easily carry out an at-home COVID lab test, thanks to the many at-home COVID test kits available on the market.
This article will teach you how at-home COVID testing works, how fast you can get your results, and whether you can trust them.
Are At-Home COVID Tests Accurate?
Yes, at-home coronavirus tests are indeed accurate. While you may not have a lab coat, collecting samples and testing yourself for COVID from home, home covid testing still produces precise results.
2 Types Of At Home COVID testing Methods
It’s important to note that there are two different types of at-home COVID testing methods:
1. At-Home Collection Tests
In this method, a sample bottle is provided. You collect your nasal and saliva samples carefully, from the comfort of your home, and package and ship them to a medical laboratory for detailed analysis.
The laboratory will use the “gold standard” reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) technique to analyze your samples. While that guarantees the accuracy of results, you’ll typically have to wait twenty-four to seventy-two hours for your results to arrive.
2. At-Home Testing
If you need your results rapidly, at-home testing is ideal. The home covid testing kit will enable you to test yourself and get results within minutes.
However, such rapid Covid tests are not as accurate as the PCR analysis method. The at-home testing kits tell if you are currently infectious or not by detecting the virus’s proteins in your sample.
If the virus count in your sample is low or you conduct the test soon after infection, the results may be inaccurate
4 Things to Consider Before Choosing Home Covid Testing Method
We already know testing for COVID is the best way to reduce the risk of transmission. So, what else should you consider when deciding which at-home COVID testing method to choose?
1. Nasal Swab vs. Saliva
For many, the nasal swab is the scariest part of collecting samples for testing. You will insert a swab, much like an elongated Q-tip, up your nose and swirl gently to collect mucus samples.
Most people experience discomfort with this method even though it’s an excellent way to collect samples for coronavirus testing.
Another more convenient way of collecting samples is collecting saliva. That requires you to spit into a vial. While this is easier than having to swab your nose, some people need approximately ten minutes to make enough saliva to fill the collection tube.
Whichever sample collection kit you choose, it should clearly state the type of method supported.
2. When Do You Want Results?
As explained earlier, at-home collection tests require you to collect your samples and ship them to a laboratory for analysis. This will provide accurate results but will take anywhere between twenty-four and seventy-two hours.
On the other hand, at-home COVID test kits can easily detect covid viral protein in your sample in fifteen minutes or less. So depending on how soon you need your results, you can decide what method to go with.
3. Do You Need the Results For Travel?
If you plan to travel to the U.S. by air, you will need your test results no more than three days three days before you can travel.
While at-home COVID test results are acceptable, the test used must be either a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) or an antigen test with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA.
You can find more types of at-home covid test kits approved for international travel on the CDC website.
An RT-PCR test result obtained using an at-home collection kit manufactured by a telehealth service provider affiliate is more preferable.
While prices may vary between manufacturers, the majority of the at-home COVID lab test kits are relatively affordable.
At $109, the EverlyWell is one of the most expensive coronavirus self test kits out there. It is also among the best overall options out there. The BinaxNow kit is available for sale at $19.88, making it among the cheapest kits out there.
Where Can I Get An At-Home COVID Test?
If you’ve decided on your preferred coronavirus testing method, here’s how to get an at-home COVID test kit.
Manufacturers sell these kits directly on their websites. You can also find home test kits by prescription and over the counter.
Before You Go...
We are now able to test more people and protect each other from the virus than ever before. The power to stop COVID-19 is in your hands now. Read my next article to ensure you find the best at home COVID test kit…