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Home COVID tests: How to make sure you're doing it right

Read the directions all the way through, really. The 12-step process has five steps that can mess up the results if done incorrectly.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — This is your basic at-home COVID test. You have the swab to do your own collection, the tube and solution you'll put the swab in, and the test cassette which gives you the results.

Three pieces. Doesn't seem that hard until you open the directions and realize there are 12 steps. Not just that, some of the steps warn you if you don't do this particular step for the length of time it says, a false negative result could occur. Again, five of the 12 steps have this warning.

I did a home COVID test just this morning and recorded it through a time-lapse. I didn't just open up the instructions and begin, I took time to read all the way through the instructions. You have to swirl the swab for a full 30 seconds, you have to rotate the swab while squeezing the tube so many times, you have to dispense 4 drops and then you wait the 15 minutes.

Seriously, we're all worked up about all the COVID mess as it is,  do yourself a favor and read through all the instructions first before you start.  

The easiest part of the test? Reading the results. You wait 15 minutes to get the results. I saw the one pink line there at the C, indicating my negative result. It is very clear, you won't be confused.

What's the accuracy of these tests? Our VERIFY team looked into it and found the FDA confirms home tests were 85% accurate for positive cases and 98% accurate for detecting negative cases. The key here, the tests are this accurate when the tests are done correctly. So remember, read those instructions all the way through first.


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