COVID-19 Testing Kits

 

COVID-19 self-tests (also referred to as home tests or over-the-counter (OTC) tests) are one of many risk-reduction measures, along with vaccination, masking, and physical distancing, that protect you and others by reducing the chances of spreading SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

 

Testing is critically important to help reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. If you have symptoms or had a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, you should be tested, regardless of your vaccination status. You may also consider self-testing to screen for COVID-19 immediately before an activity to see if you are positive for COVID-19. You should isolate if you test positive.

If you need to be tested for COVID-19, consider using a self-test that can be performed at home or anywhere else. Sometimes a self-test is also called a “home test”, an “at-home test”, or an “over-the-counter (OTC) test.” 


Self-tests can be taken at home or anywhere, are easy to use, and produce rapid results. You can use self-tests, regardless of vaccination status, or whether or not you have symptoms. Follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions for performing the test. If you test positive, you should isolate and inform your healthcare provider, as well as any close contacts. Consider using a self-test before joining indoor gatherings with others who are not in your household.

 

A positive self-test result means that the test detected the virus, and you are very likely to have an infection and should stay home or isolate for 10 days, wear a mask if you could have contact with others, and avoid indoor gatherings to reduce the risk of spreading disease to someone else.

 

A negative self-test result means that the test did not detect the virus and you may not have an infection, but it does not rule out infection. Repeating the test within a few days, with at least 24 hours between tests, will increase the confidence that you are not infected.