At-Home Testing | CDC

Illustration of a house

You and your healthcare service provider may take into account either an at-property collection package or an at-property examination if you have symptoms and indicators of COVID-19 and if you just cannot get tested by a healthcare service provider.

At-property collection kits and exams are readily available either by prescription or above the counter in a pharmacy or retail retail outlet with no a prescription. Currently readily available at-property exams look for latest infection.

Gathering Specimens

Wash your palms, then comply with the guidance integrated with the specimen collection or examination package for collecting your own nasal or saliva specimen.

  • For the most effective effects, accumulate and handle the specimens according to the manufacturer’s  instructions. If you never accumulate the specimens as directed, your examination effects could be incorrect.

Some exams have to have a nasal specimen that can be collected using an anterior nasal swab or a nasal mid-turbinate swab. Other exams have to have a saliva specimen.

Illustration of a collection kit

After collected, deliver the specimen to a tests facility or use the specimen, as explained in the manufacturer’s guidance, to comprehensive the at-property examination.

Accomplishing the Examination

Stick to the manufacturer’s guidance precisely and in the order specified. The maker could also give other methods, this sort of as rapid reference guides or tutorial video clips, to aid you accomplish the examination the right way.


  • Keep all examination components according to the manufacturer’s guidance till ready for use.
  • Never use expired exams or examination components that are ruined or discolored.
  • Disinfect the countertop, desk, or other surface area where you will do the examination.
  • Never open examination products or other examination components till the tests course of action is about to happen.
  • Browse and file examination effects only in the quantity of time specified in the manufacturer’s guidance. A end result study ahead of or soon after the specified timeframe could not be accurate.
  • Never reuse examination products or other components.

After you have the effects, discard the specimen collection swab and examination package in the trash, disinfect all surfaces that the specimen could have touched, and wash your palms.

Illustration of a person using a cell phone to report results

Reporting Results

Converse your effects to your healthcare service provider, who is responsible for reporting your examination effects to the state wellness office. If the at-property examination has an application that allows you to report your effects to the state wellness office, tell your healthcare service provider no matter if you made use of that application for effects reporting.

If Your Examination Is Detrimental

A damaging examination end result means that SARS-CoV-two, the virus that brings about COVID-19, was not identified in your specimen. If you took the examination even though you experienced indicators and followed all guidance meticulously, a damaging end result normally means your latest illness is not COVID-19.

Nevertheless, it is doable for a examination to give a damaging end result in some people who have COVID-19 (that is, a false damaging). You could also examination damaging if the sample was collected too early in your infection. In this scenario, you could examination favourable afterwards through your illness. Go over your indicators and examination effects with your healthcare service provider to ascertain if you need to have comply with-up tests.

If you have COVID-19 indicators, particularly if you have been exposed to an individual who has COVID-19, you must quarantine according to CDC suggestions.

Patient calling doctors office

If Your Examination Is Positive

Tell your healthcare service provider about your favourable examination end result and keep in get hold of with them through your illness. To keep away from spreading the virus to other people, comply with CDC suggestions. See CDC’s steerage Isolate if You are Sick, which has information and facts for a individual who exams favourable and has indicators, and for a individual who doesn’t have indicators.

If Your Result Demonstrates Invalid or Error

At times the effects are not obvious or are inconclusive, and the examination is not able to explain to you if your effects are favourable or damaging.

If the display screen on the at-property examination demonstrates an invalid end result or a examination error, the examination did not perform thoroughly. If this occurs, please refer to the guidance for use in the package deal insert and get hold of the maker for guidance.

Invalid effects can happen for numerous good reasons. Your specimen could not have been collected the right way or the tests instrument could have malfunctioned. Nevertheless, this sort of invalid effects must not come about normally.

No matter of what your examination effects are, you must normally review the effects with your healthcare service provider. Your healthcare service provider will take into account the examination end result jointly with your indicators and doable publicity in selecting how to care for you.