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COVID-19 home tests

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COVID-19 home tests, also called over-the-counter (OTC) screening tests, are one of many risk reduction measures, along with the vaccination the use of masks and physical distancing, which protect you and others by reducing the chances of spreading SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Home tests can be done at home or anywhere, are easy to use, and offer quick results.
A home test can be done, regardless of whether you are vaccinated or not, whether or not you have symptoms.
Follow all manufacturer’s instructions for getting screened.
If your test result is positive , you should isolate yourself and report it to your healthcare provider and close contacts .
Consider taking a home test before joining an indoor meeting with other people who do not live in your home.
A positive home test means that the test detected the virus and it is very likely that you are infected, so you should stay home or isolate yourself for 10 days, wear a mask if you will need to have contact with other people, and avoid encounters in spaces closed to reduce the risk of spreading the disease to others.
A negative home test means that the test did not detect the virus and you may not be infected, but it does not rule out infection. Repeating the test after a few days, at least 24 hours apart, will increase your confidence that you are not infected.

Getting screened is extremely 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 confirmed or suspected COVID-19, you should be screened regardless of your vaccination status. You may also consider having a home test for COVID-19 immediately before an activity to see if you are infected with COVID-19. You should isolate yourself if your screening test result is positive.

If you need to get tested for COVID-19, consider using a home test that can be done in your own home or elsewhere. These tests are also sometimes called “over-the-counter (OTC) tests.” Visit the FDA website for a list of authorized screening tests. Some home tests may have age limitations.

Home tests offer fast results. Home tests are one of many options for detecting the virus that causes COVID-19 and may be more convenient than laboratory tests and point-of-care testing. Consider having home tests at home or where you may need them.

Home tests can be purchased online or at pharmacies and retail stores. They are also available free of charge through certain local health departments or Federally licensed public health centers (FQHC). Since November 2021, home tests are available to detect current infections . Home tests are not available to detect antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19.

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