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Do at-home COVID tests expire? Can tests be used after expiration?

When do those at-home COVID tests expire?

That question has been getting a lot of play lately. Especially as fall arrives, and many people dig out the COVID tests they acquired in the fall.

Will they work in the fall and winter? News10NBC investigated that question.


They spoke with health experts and checked out FDA guidance. Typically, these tests have a shelf-life of roughly 4-6 months. That said, some have expiration dates 12-18 months out from date of creation.

Dr. Emil Lesho of Rochester Regional Health says it comes down to the chemicals on the strip. One of them is a sort of protein, so it can degrade over time.

That’s why these tests won’t last forever. Doctors say don’t question it if an ‘expired’ test comes back positive. However, you should be cautious if an expired test gives you a negative result.



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