COVID-19 cases are on the rise again. As Americans head into our third fall season of the pandemic, testing remains absolutely essential.
Thanks to a couple of years of trial and error, at-home testing is now one of the most common options for finding out if you’ve been exposed. These OTC COVID-19 Tests are safe, accurate, and approved for travel. Plus, best of all, they don’t require a trip to the doctor’s office.
Read on to learn all that you need to know about telemedicine testing for COVID-19 in the comfort and privacy of your own home!
When to Test
According to the CDC, OTC testing is best performed as soon as COVID symptoms appear or within 5 days of suspected exposure. And, if you’re planning to attend a large gathering or travel, it is also suggested that you take a rapid antigen test in preparation.
Keep in mind that this type of COVID testing is only intended for adults and children over 2 years old. It’s also important to test within the first 6 to 7 days of potential symptoms for the most accurate results.
Collecting Your Sample
When it’s time to test, you’ll want to start by washing your hands. Then, clean and sterilize a secure area where you’ll collect a nasal swab sample.
Follow your test kit’s instructions exactly, and don’t skip any steps. In most cases, you’ll need to prepare a diluting solution. Then, use the included swab to collect your sample. Don’t rush this step, and be sure to swab thoroughly, touching all of your nostril’s inside surfaces.
Interpreting Your Results
You can expect 1 of 3 possible test results: positive, negative, or invalid.
A positive test, usually indicated by two lines, means that you currently have COVID-19. And, despite what you may have heard, a false positive result is highly unlikely.
A negative test will show only the single control line. This does not completely rule out the possibility of infection, especially if you have symptoms. It’s also important to remember that you’re more likely to test negative during the early stages of infection, so a follow-up might be required.
If your test shows neither the control nor antigen line, your result is invalid. You’ll need to take another test to be sure that you aren’t sick.
In most cases, when a second test is required to confirm a potentially false negative or repeat an invalid result, PCR or POC testing is suggested.
Shopping for OTC COVID-19 Tests
Now that you know a bit more about OTC COVID-19 Tests, you’re ready to shop with confidence.
It’s absolutely vital that you only do business with reputable online retailers like SGP to avoid potentially dangerous scams, or worse, test kits that don’t work. We guarantee our products and make shopping easy with test kits, gloves, and masks, all in one place.