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Have an at-home COVID-19 test? Here's what to know

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Posted at 6:20 PM, Jan 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-12 18:20:19-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Erie County Department of Health said it has received 5,000 at home test results. The link to report at home results opened one week ago. And as at home test kits are distributed statewide, there are a few things to keep in mind.

“These test kits are best used for individuals that are symptomatic,” Dr. Thomas Russo said.

Doctor Thomas Russo from the UB Jacobs School of Medicine said a positive at home test almost certainly means you have COVID-19 and should begin isolation immediately. Dr. Russo said if you are symptomatic but test negative, it is still possible you have COVID, so should take extra precautions.

“Either PCR tests or serial testing is the order of the day,” Dr. Russo said.

While following instructions, Dr. Russo said it’s also important to keep an eye out for the control band (c). If you did your test correctly, this is what it will look like:

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Here is an invalid test next to a valid test:

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“If the control band does not show up, then you have not done the test properly,” Dr. Russo said. “And the results are not valid.”

Dr. Russo said while at home tests have their benefits, be cautious if you buy one.

“There are some tests online that have not been FDA approved,” Dr. Russo said.

The first thing to check for is FDA approval. If it’s unclear on the box, you can visit the FDA’s website for a list of fraudulent Coronavirus products and tests. And Dr. Russo said it’s always safest to be sure your test is not expired.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s no longer accurate,” Dr. Russo said. “But we really don’t have information on whether that’s going to be the case or not.”

Chautauqua County officials said local municipalities will soon have hundreds of at-home test kits to give away. Jamestown is receiving 500, the City of Dunkirk will get 250 tests kits - towns and villages will also receive fifty to one hundred.

Local governments will organize their own distribution events in the coming weeks.