How Long Do COVID Test Kits Last? Do They Expire?
COVID-19 testing at home is an easy way to discover whether you have COVID, even if you feel fine and aren’t experiencing any symptoms. However, you may be wondering: How long do COVID test kits last? Some of the reasons you may decide to take an at-home test include the following:
- If you are sick and showing COVID-19 symptoms
- If you know or suspect that you’ve been exposed to COVID (take the test five days after exposure)
- Before traveling or after returning home from travel
You may decide to use whatever COVID test you have on hand, but for the sake of accuracy, check the expiration date on your test. While an expired test won’t harm you, the components of the tests may degrade over time and give you invalid or incorrect test results. At A2Z Diagnostics, we’re experts at administering COVID tests, and we offer COVID testing services at several locations for your convenience. If you are unsure about taking a home test, a PCR test administered at one of our sites offers you comprehensive peace of mind.
How Long Do COVID-19 Tests Last?
As a general rule, the FDA says that most at-home test kits last about four to six months. Still, with time comes more knowledge regarding the shelf lives and effectiveness of at-home test kits. The FDA notes that COVID test kits may be used up to three months after the expiration date on the box, but after that period, the results aren’t reliable. In some cases, test kit manufacturers may extend the projected shelf life of tests if they find evidence that they last longer while still giving accurate results.
Extended Shelf Life
If the manufacturer of an at-home test determines that the shelf life is longer than initially thought, the FDA may authorize extending the expiration date. Because many people received their at-home tests courtesy of the federal government, the manufacturer won’t contact you to advise you of extended expiration dates. To find out whether your at-home tests have an extended shelf life, visit the FDA website.
A2Z Diagnostics: Your Partners in Health
At-home tests make it easier to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, if you receive a positive COVID test at home and want a second opinion, A2Z Diagnostics is here to help. Contact us today at 732-542-3200 and speak with one of our healthcare experts.