Can you use an expired at-home COVID-19 test?

Coronavirus

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) — Many of us may have stored extra at-home COVID-19 tests in case they are needed in the future, but what should you do if the kit is past its expiration date?

According to the latest data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 49 out of 52 jurisdictions (the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico) have counties with high or medium risk for COVID-19. Hawaii, Maine and Wyoming are the only ones with all counties at low levels.

As the virus continues, health officials are asking people to check their COVID testing kits.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a COVID-19 testing kit should not be used if it is expired since the parts and products used for the kits may break down over time, resulting in a possibly invalid test result.

Throughout the pandemic, several variants have been identified in the U.S. and globally, and local residents say they remain concerned about the ever-changing virus.

“I definitely worry about it,” said Lauren Hufnagel, of Southampton. “For people who are immunocompromised, I’ve had it myself and I was lucky enough to not have terrible effects, but I do worry for people who aren’t as lucky.”

Some at-home COVID-19 testing kits may have extended their expiration date that you see on the label, so don’t throw them away just yet. More than a dozen of the 30 authorized testing kits have an extended use time.

To see if your testing kit has an extended expiration date, check the FDA’s website.

Amid continuing COVID cases, many people remain cautious even as they continue with their lives.

“It’s definitely exciting to be back and around people,” said Kaylee Watson, of Worthington. “You still have people with masks and to each their own, but yeah it’s nice to be back doing the normal things again.”

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