How to Take a COVID-19 Test at Home

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covid-19 swab test on a placemat between a fork and a knife

Testing for COVID-19 has become one of our greatest defences against the spread of the virus. It is the only way to know with certainty if you are carrying the virus. With this knowledge, you can then follow the regulations put in place by your public health authority regarding how to isolate. 

A lot has changed since March 2020 when it comes to testing for COVID-19. There are now several ways to get tested, and tests have become much more accessible. Going to the hospital is no longer the only option for testing. In fact, you can now get tested from the comfort of your own home. Here is how.   

When to Take a COVID Test

As with any news related to COVID-19, it is best to ensure that you are keeping up to date with the information provided to you by your local public health authority. Regulations vary around the world, so you must be aware of what your government specifically is recommending in terms of when to get tested. For example, COVID testing in Toronto and Mississauga is different from testing in New York City. 

Generally speaking, you should get tested if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. This includes: 

  • Fever
  • Cough 
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Aches and pains

You should also get tested if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus and isolate accordingly. If you plan to visit someone who has a compromised immune system or who is at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill should they contract the virus, you may want to get tested first to ensure you are negative. 

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There are various testing protocols in place when it comes to travel. These will vary based on whether your travel is domestic or international. It will also vary depending on what country you are traveling to. Always research what testing is required at your destination and in your country of origin before you travel. 

Concierge COVID-19 Testing

Getting tested at home is now easier than ever with concierge COVID-19 testing. With this service, you can book for a health care professional to come right to your home or place of work to perform a COVID test and send it out for results. This is a great option for people who cannot get to a testing facility or who do not feel comfortable performing a rapid test on themselves. 

Rapid Antigen Test

Rapid Antigen Tests now come in take-home kits and allow you to test yourself at home. Results are processed in only 15 minutes, and testing kits can often be acquired for free. 

The rapid test is very similar to a PCR test. Simply take the provided cotton swab and insert it into your nasal cavity. Make sure your head is tilted back so you can insert the swab towards the back of your nasal cavity, not upwards towards your brain. Rotate the swab in your nose for several seconds and repeat in the other nostril. 

 

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