COVID-19 at-home diagnostic testing (also called self-testing) allows some or all parts of the testing process to take place at home. With some at-home tests, you collect a nasal or saliva sample and send it to a laboratory. Other tests allow you to test the sample yourself, with results available in minutes.
If you need to be tested for COVID-19 and cannot be tested by a health care provider, consider at-home testing.
Note: At-home test results may not be accepted for some purposes, such as school, employer or travel testing requirements
Tips for Performing an At-home Test
• Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and view any online instructional videos
provided by the manufacturer before beginning the test.
• Closely follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If specimens are not collected, handled
or stored exactly as written in the instructions, your test result may not be correct.
• Before and after testing, wash your hands with soap and water and disinfect the table or other surface where you are performing the test.
• Do not open test kits until you are ready to start. Check the expiration date. Do not use
expired tests or test components that are damaged or discolored.
• Read the test result within the amount of time written in the manufacturer’s
instructions. A result read before or after the stated time frame may not be correct.
• Do not reuse test kits or components
Interpreting Test Results
At-home testing may be less accurate than tests performed by a health care provider. For this reason, there are times when you should follow up with your provider and arrange for another COVID-19 test to confirm your at-home test result (a confirmatory test, such as a molecular [PCR] or antigen test). For more information, see the table on the following page.
• Learn about COVID-19 treatment options at nyc.gov/health/covid treatments.
Treatment works best the sooner you start – call your provider right away if you test
• If you test positive for COVID-19 or were recently exposed, the NYC Test & Trace Corps
can provide resources to help you separate from others in a free hotel room or at home.
Call 212-COVID19 (212-268-4319) and select option 5 after choosing your language or
• For more information on COVID-19 at-home testing, including videos on how to use and interpret home self-test kits, visit cdc.gov and search for Self-Testing.
• For information on quarantine and isolation, visit nyc.gov/preventcovid and click on
COVID-19: Understanding Quarantine and Isolation