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May 30, 2023
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How To Use an At-Home COVID-19 test

Note: On Jul 8, 2022, the FDA granted another three-month shelf-life extension for the iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test, which extended the shelf-life of all iHealth tests from 6 months to 12 months.  Go to to look up the new expiration date by lot number.


Read the complete manufacturer’s instructions for use before using the test. Talk to a healthcare provider if you have questions about the test or your results. 

COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test kits can be used on anyone 2 years and older. It is important for adults to perform the test on children under the age of 15.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms –fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle pain, headache, new loss of taste/smell, sore throat, runny nose congestion, test within 7 days of feeling sick. If you are symptomatic and the first test is negative, repeat the test after 1-2 days (24-48 hours).

If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and were within 6 feet of the person for at least 15 minutes, test 5 days after exposure. If the first test

These tests do not work well if you do not have symptoms or a known exposure. COVID-19 tests are in extremely short supply; please use these tests only if you do not feel well or if you know you have been exposed.

Prepare to collect a specimen

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Open the box and follow the instructions included with the self-test to collect your own nasal or saliva specimen.
  • If you don’t collect the specimens as directed, your test results may be incorrect


Store all test components according to the manufacturer’s instructions until ready for use.

  • Check the expiration date. Do not use expired tests or test components that are damaged or appear discolored based on the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Clean the countertop, table, or other surfaces where you will do the test.
  • Do not open test devices or other test components until you are ready to start the testing process.
  • Have a timer ready because you may need to time several of the test steps.
  • Read test results only within the amount of time specified in the manufacturer’s instructions. A result read before or after the specified timeframe may be incorrect.
  • Don’t reuse test devices or other components.

After you have the results, discard the specimen collection swab or tube and test in the trash, clean all surfaces that the specimen may have touched, and wash your hands.

  • If you test positive, you should stay home and stay away from other people, including your family, for at least five days.
  • For assistance, go to Or call 866-917-8881, M–F from 8 am to 6 pm and Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm.
  • (And then provide a link to our website that will be titled “What to do if you test positive for COVID-19 or have been around someone with COVID-19”)