Here’s The Right Way to Use an At-Home COVID-19 Test Kit

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Currents News Staff

Masking, social distancing and of course, vaccination and boosters are the best ways to slow the spread of COVID-19. But knowing whether you’re infected is another weapon against this pandemic. That’s where COVID testing comes in.

“It is troubling to see these numbers to see how high the cases are going,” said U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy.

You may be able to avoid long lines if you have access to a rapid test, have been exposed and don’t have symptoms, but want to know if you’re infected. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends you take the test at or close to day five after you’re exposed to the coronavirus. Five-hundred million free at-home COVID-19 tests will soon be distributed, according to the White House.

“We will set up a free and easy system, including a new website to get these tests out to Americans,” said White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zients.

So, how do the tests work? Neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains.

“So, there’s a swab,” Dr. Sanjay says. “Most of us are familiar with these by now, so about a half to three-quarters of an inch in each nostril and five big circles. Put it in the bottom hole here, shut it and now we wait.”

Read the test results only within the timeframe specified in the instructions.

“Here’s my COVID test results now,” Dr. Sanjay says. “No COVID. So, between this test result and me being fully vaccinated, I already feel a lot safer.” 

If the test is positive, the CDC advises isolation to continue for 10 days after symptoms started. If negative, quarantine can stop, but the agency recommends wearing a mask around others until day 10.