Temperature could affect accuracy of at-home COVID-19 testing kits

ORLANDO, Fla. — There’s one thing you should consider when using your free at-home COVID-19 test from the federal government: its temperature.


AdventHealth Dr. Tim Hendrix explained how to make sure your test is viable.

“Make sure you store them appropriately because, it can reduce their effectiveness,” Hendrix said.

Health officials raised concerns about the elements the tests will experience upon delivery. Tests are supposed to be stored in temperatures above 35 degrees, so with winter weather, some are concerned the tests will freeze.

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With Florida’s heat approaching this spring and summer, our concerns are different.

“I wouldn’t trust the result if was exposed to extreme heat for instance, so don’t keep then in your glove box,” Hendrix said.

Hendrix said to store the test in a cool, dry place in a normal temperature range. Do not put them in the freezer for later use.

Also, before administering the test, there’s a way to check if it’s usable.

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“There are controls, so if you read the instructions, they’ll be a mark on there and you have to have that control line. If the control line doesn’t highlight, then you can’t trust the result,” Hendrix said.

Now if you are concerned about your test’s viability, wait and take another.

“These come in twos, so the idea is that if you a have a negative, you can repeat it in two to three days if you’re still feeling ill, just to make sure,” he said.

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If all else fails, head to you doctor.

“We’ll run another test to confirm if it’s accurate or not,” Hendrix said.

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