With more and more hospitals getting more full with each passing month from COVID-19, it’s become more important to be able to test at home to minimize the increased risk of infection. At-home antigen tests have made this possible so that people can better safeguard their health. Unfortunately, people can get faulty results by not following the instructions properly. Here are the 5 common mistakes people are making when using at-home testing kits.
Testing Too Early
Many people think that they should be testing within 48 hours of someone who has tested positively, but that may not be enough time for enough virus to show up on a test. If you are experiencing symptoms, then you should definitely test immediately, even if you’ve been vaccinated.
General guidelines state that when using a self-collection system, you should test between days 3 and 5 after being exposed to someone who has tested positive. What’s also important is that you don’t count the day of exposure; if you were exposed on Monday, Tuesday would be day 1.
Not Swabbing Correctly
Most people are not swabbing correctly, which leads to a lack of proper collection. Swabbing has to be done vigorously, scraping off the mucuous membrane so that there can be an accurate test result. Throat swabs are definitely more accurate, but the majority of people are incapable of doing throat swabs on themselves.
Not Reading The Directions
Each at-home test comes with a set of instructions that details every step so that an accurate result can be provided. However, some people still manage to do the tests wrong. It’s important to lay out all of the components on a dry flat table and read over the instructions several times before you start doing the test.
Giving Up After The First Test
Many people think that since their first test is negative that they’re fine. However, at-home tests are less sensitive than the tests that would be done in a lab. That’s why it’s important to have more than one test available so that you can do it multiple times to ensure whether you’re really infected or not. This is one of the many reasons at-home test kits are more affordable, so that people can purchase more than one.
Reading The Results Too Early Or Too Late
You should wait until the allotted time has passed before reading your results. If you read it too early, then you’re not going to see an accurate result. If you wait too long, then you might end up getting a false positive. It’s important that you set a timer and read the test when it goes off so that you know whether you’re infected or not.
Using an at-home COVID test doesn’t have to be a difficult experience but because of how sensitive it is, it’s important to follow the instructions carefully. Any mistake could give you false results, and that can be frustrating. If you’re concerned, feel free to call your medical specialist to help you through doing your own test or to perform a test on you if you’re not sure.