COVID-19 Self Test Kits
Governor Ned Lamont recently announced plans to distribute COVID-19 self-tests to municipalities and schools throughout Connecticut in an effort to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health, Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, and Connecticut National Guard will oversee the distribution of the kits, with support from regional and local emergency management teams.
Testing is critically important to help reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. If you have symptoms or had a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, you should be tested, regardless of your vaccination status. You may also consider self-testing to screen for COVID-19 immediately before an activity to see if you are positive for COVID-19. You should isolate if you test positive.
If you need to be tested for COVID-19, consider using a self-test that can be performed at home or anywhere else. Sometimes a self-test is also called a “home test,” an “at-home test,” or an “over-the-counter (OTC) test” (Self-Testing | CDC).
Communities and Tribal Nations can find guidance for distribution of the self-tests here: Revised guidance from the Connecticut Department of Public Health to towns and cities on the distribution of tests and masks.
Brands of COVID-19 Self-Test Kits Being Distributed
There are four brands of COVID-19 self-tests that are being distributed and more information and instructions on each type of kit can be found by visiting each company’s website or viewing the instructional videos below:
- iHealth - (Watch instructional video here)
- Quickvue - (Watch instructional video here)
- BinexNOW - (Watch instructional video here)
- FlowFlex - (Watch instructional video here)
- on/go - (Watch instructional video here) (to use without the phone app, see PDF directions here)
COVID-19 Self-Test Frequently Asked Questions
Why Use a COVID-19 Self-Test?
COVID-19 self-testing is one of the actions you can take to protect yourself and your close contacts. To protect yourself and others against COVID-19, you should:
- Get the COVID19 vaccine and your booster
- Wear a mask
- Practice social distancing, whenever possible
Are COVID-19 self-tests difficult to use?
Self-tests can be taken at home or anywhere, are easy to use, and produce quick results.
Some kits have two test cards. Can I use one of them for two people?
Each kit is meant for one person, whether the kit contains one test or two tests. If you are using a kit that contains two tests: if your first test is negative, use the second test 24-48 hours later, per manufacturer’s instructions.
When should I use it?
- Use a self-test if you are feeling sick to quickly learn if you might have COVID-19
- Use a self-test after you’re notified that you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. If it is negative, you can repeat the test five days after exposure
- Use a self-test before going to indoor gatherings to evaluate your risk of spreading COVID-19
If I am vaccinated or unvaccinated, will the test still work?
Yes. You can use self-tests, regardless of vaccination status.
How long do I need to be sick before I use the test kit?
You can use self-tests, even when you are not sick. Someone with COVID-19 symptoms should get tested as soon as possible.
What does a positive COVID-19 self-test result mean?
If you test positive, you should isolate and inform your healthcare provider, as well as any close contacts. You do not need to get another test through a doctor or pharmacy.
- A positive self-test result means that the test detected the virus, and you are very likely to have COVID-19
- Stay home or isolate for five days, even if you are asymptomatic or your symptoms are resolving
- Wear a mask if you have contact with others
- Avoid indoor gatherings to reduce the risk of spreading disease to someone else
What does a negative COVID-19 self-test mean?
A negative self-test result means that the test did not detect the virus and you may not have an infection, but it does not entirely rule out infection. Repeating the test within a few days, with at least 24 hours between tests, will increase the confidence that you are not infected. (That is why each kit comes with two tests.) If you do not feel well, regardless of a negative test result, you should stay home.
What does an inconclusive or invalid COVID-19 self-test mean?
If your home test is inconclusive, use the second test card and try again. If both are inconclusive, then consider getting tested through your health care provider, a pharmacy, or at a community site.
Do I need to report my COVID-19 test result to the state or local health authorities?
No. You do not need to report your result to public health authorities, but you should tell your close contacts (people you have spent time with lately) that you have COVID-19, so that they can get tested and protect others, too. In addition, if a child who attends daycare or school tests positive, you should inform the institution.
Will this test detect variants?
Self-tests will not tell you which variant of the virus has been detected. FDA has been monitoring the potential impact of genetic variants on antigen tests (self-tests are antigen tests). Early data suggests that antigen tests do detect the omicron variant but may have reduced sensitivity. Click here for more information.
For more information on self-test kits, please visit the CDC website at: Self-Testing | CDC