In the news
October 12, 2021
Rapid at-home COVID-19 tests now are available more widely than ever. But understanding which test to use and how much you can rely on the results can be confusing.
A recent article in Men’s Health took a close look at rapid tests for COVID-19 that can be performed at home. In the article, Matthew Binnicker, Ph.D., director of Mayo Clinic’s Clinical Virology Laboratory, discusses who should use the tests, when they should be used, and how to interpret the results. He notes that timing of at-home testing for people who don’t have symptoms can be particularly challenging.
“The most important caution is that a negative result from an at-home test is not a free pass, especially if the person taking the test does not have symptoms,” Dr. Binnicker says. “A negative result only means that there was not a high amount of the virus in the nasal passage at the time of the test.”
The article reviews what to do after you take a rapid at-home test, depending on whether the result is positive or negative, and explains when those results need to be confirmed by a laboratory.