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Are at-home COVID-19 tests still good after they expire?

If you’ve been lucky enough to find an at-home COVID-19 test kit, you may now be wondering if it is even good to use.

at-home COVID-19 test

Do the at-home tests expire? If they do can I still use it?


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What is the fuss about these at-home tests?

About 1 million test kits just expired in Florida while being stored in state-run warehouse. The FDA determined they are still salvageable, despite the expiration date. These tests will be rolled out into communities. Additional details can be found here.

The FDA’s approval for use of these tests comes as a contradiction to the CDC guidelines. CDC recommends throwing away the at-home tests if they are expired.


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Do the expired tests have reliable results?

This depends on the type of at-home test you have. BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card test received FDA approval for an extended shelf life. These kits are good for up to 15 months.

Each brand has their own expiration dates.

Despite the FDA approval, doctors recommend avoiding expired at-home tests. Expired tests may lead to skewed results.


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Do you have to report at-home tests?

If you do use an expired test and it comes back positive, treat it as such. Expired tests to tend to vary in reliability, based on brand.

If you have confusion about your results, seek out another test or talk to your health care provider.


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