5 common mistakes people make when using at-home COVID tests

With more and more hospitals becoming more crowded with each passing month due to COVID-19, it has become more important to be able to test at home to minimize the increased risk of infection. Antigen tests at home have made this possible so that people can better protect their health. Unfortunately, people can get erroneous results by not following the instructions correctly. Here are the 5 common mistakes people make when using test kits at home.

Test too early

Many people think they need to be tested within 48 hours of someone testing positive, but that may not be enough time for the virus to show up on a test. If you experience symptoms, you should definitely get tested right away, even if you have 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 is also important is that you do not count the exposure day; if you were exposed on monday, tuesday would be day 1.

Does not vape correctly

Most people are not swabs correctly, which leads to a lack of proper collection. Inoculation must be done vigorously and the mucosa scraped off so that an accurate test result can be obtained. Throat tests are certainly more accurate, but most people are unable to perform throat tests on themselves.

Not reading the instructions

Each home test comes with a set of instructions detailing each step so that an accurate result can be given. However, some people still manage to do the tests incorrectly. It is important to lay out all the components on a dry flat table and read the instructions several times before you start doing the test.

Gives up after the first test

Many people think that since their first test is negative that they are fine. But 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 you can do it multiple times to make sure you’re really infected or not. This is one of the many reasons why home test kits are more affordable, so people can buy 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, you won’t see an accurate result. If you wait too long, you may end up with a false positive. It is important that you set a timer and read the test when it starts, so you know whether you are infected or not.

Using a COVID test at home 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 can give you false results and that can be frustrating. If you are concerned, feel free to call your doctor to help you do your own test or to perform a test on you if you are not sure.

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