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Frequently Asked Questions About At-Home COVID-19 Tests
What is the rapid antigen test?
The rapid antigen test helps detect the virus that causes COVID-19. If you have symptoms, the test can quickly tell whether you have COVID-19. You can do the nasal swab test anywhere and get results in about 15 minutes or 20 minutes depending on the type of test.
When should I use my rapid antigen test?
You can use your rapid antigen test on members of your household who are 2 years old or older at any time. You should test immediately if you have symptoms of COVID-19. You should also get tested five full days after being exposed to someone who has COVID-19. For more details and information on other times when testing may be recommended, visit the MDH COVID-19 Testing website.
How do I use the test?
Please follow the full directions found in the test package. To see how the test works, you can watch the video for the type of test you have:
- iHealth - How to use the iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test (YouTube)
- BinaxNow - How to: A Guide for the BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Self Test (YouTube)
What if I have symptoms but test negative with the rapid antigen test?
If you have a negative test result, you should take another test. The CDC and FDA recommend repeat testing after a negative antigen test result whether or not you have symptoms. Follow the manufacturer instructions that came with your test for when to take another test. For more details on repeat testing, visit At-Home COVID-19 Antigen Tests-Take Steps to Reduce Your Risk of False Negative: FDA Safety Communication.
Talk to your health care provider if you have questions about what test to use and when to test.
What if I test positive with the rapid antigen test?
If you test positive, stay home and away from others. Follow the public health guidance at If You Are Sick or Test Positive. If you are at high risk of severe disease, contact a doctor or health care provider right away to ask about COVID-19 Medications.
What do I do if I have questions?
Please call the Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Public Hotline at 1-833-431-2053 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; 9 a.m.-7 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday.