How Reliable are At-Home COVID-19 Tests?
COVID-19 testing is generally done by healthcare practitioners at health centres, pharmacies, and other testing sites. But today, individuals can perform the test themselves at home with the availability of COVID home test kits.
At-home COVID-19 tests allow people a more convenient and faster way to determine whether they are infected with the virus without the hassle of looking for a testing centre. These test kits are authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for self-testing at home or any location.
People can buy self-administered test kits online or at nearby local retailers. The two types of diagnostic at-home coronavirus tests are the at-home rapid test and at-home PCR test. Both tests are essentially the same as the tests given by healthcare professionals in terms of accuracy and turnaround time.
Home PCR tests can provide more accurate results but such results can take days to be acquired as it requires specialised laboratory instruments. On the other hand, home rapid tests can take minutes to get the results but it is less accurate than the PCR test.Getting an at-home rapid test is a preferable option for people who want to know if they should get additional treatment.
It is important to note that rapid tests can produce false-negative results and miss asymptomatic infection. Nevertheless, at-home PCR and rapid tests are most accurate when taken when an individual is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
While such tests make it easier for people to ensure their safety against the virus, they are not a substitute for preventative measures to combat COVID-19. Individuals planning to have a gathering, work onsite, or attend indoor events, must know that taking an at-home COVID-19 test is not a guarantee that they do not have the virus nor will they contract it.
You can read this article from Harley Medic International to learn more about how reliable at-home COVID-19 tests are.