Can you use an expired COVID test at home? Here’s what you should know

For the latest news and information on the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.

As the travel season ramps up, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending everyone to get tested before they travel. That includes those who are fully vaccinated and those who have not received them COVID-19 Vaccination. But if you have saved yours test kits For months how have you known if they are still giving accurate results?

If your summer trip isn’t coming up any time soon, you can Order eight more free COVID-19 tests to be used by the government. But if you’ve had the same test kits since the beginning of the year, the expiration date could be near or even past.

I will explain what these expiration dates mean and whether or not the test kits are effective based on information from the Food and Drug Administration. More about this here how to tell if your at-home COVID-19 test is real.

What does the expiry date of the COVID test mean?

The expiration date listed on your box of COVID-19 tests is the last day the test can be expected to be effective. Generally, the FDA approves home testing kits with a shelf life of about four to six months, but the shelf life could be extended if the manufacturer finds more data showing the tests are still accurate past the expiration date.

Can I use a COVID test kit past the expiration date?

no The FDA does not recommend using expired COVID-19 tests at home. Here’s why: The COVID-19 test parts can deteriorate or fail over time, leading to inaccurate or invalid test results.

Again, it’s possible that expiration dates for COVID-19 home test kits will be extended as more data is collected, but for now, you should not use a test that has expired. If your box of test kits has an expired expiration date, check this FDA extended expiration date list to see if it’s okay to use yours (more below).

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How do I know if the shelf life of my COVID tests has been extended?

If the manufacturer finds that the shelf life is longer than the expected four to six months, they can request that the FDA approve an extended expiration date. Once this happens, the manufacturer can notify customers of the new expiration dates. However, if you didn’t purchase the tests from the manufacturer, you probably won’t get any notifications.

If you have not received notifications and would like to know if your COVID-19 test kit expiration date has been extended, you can visit the FDA’s at-home OTC COVID-19 diagnostic testing website.

From there, scroll down to the search box and start typing in the name of your home testing kit. For example, I have a box of iHealth COVID-19 test kits with an expiration date of July 26, 2022. After checking the column with the extended expiration date, I saw that the expiration date had been extended to October 25, 2022.

More details can be found here how to use your FSA or HSA to pay for at-home COVID testing.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions about a medical condition or health goals. Can you use an expired COVID test at home? Here’s what you should know

Chris Barrese

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