Can I use an expired COVID-19 test? Here’s how to check

Do you have a supply of unopened at-home COVID-19 tests that you got when the federal government was sending them out last year and earlier this year?

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You may notice that many of those tests have expiration dates that have passed. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not recommend using expired COVID-19 tests, some test manufacturers have collected more data about the stability of the tests and have asked the FDA to authorize extended expiration dates on those tests.

What does that mean for you? It means the tests you have may still be useable.

To find out if the test you have has been given an FDA-authorized extended expiration date, follow these steps:

  1. Find your test’s name, manufacturer, expiration date and lot number. The lot number is typically located above the expiration date.
  2. Visit the FDA website, scroll down to the table and find your test. Be sure both the manufacturer and test name are correct, since some manufacturers produce more than one test.
  3. Review the last column of the table for information on expiration dates. If your test has extended dating, there will be an “updated expiration dates” link to click where you can find your test’s lot number and new expiration date. If your lot number is not listed, you should follow the expiration date printed on the box.