Used properly, home COVID-19 test kits can detect infection early and prevent the spread to others.
Getting a Home Test Kit
Home tests for COVID-19 are sold at most pharmacies, and are also available free from county health departments.
Free home tests
Free tests can be picked up at any county health department during normal hours. A family can get 8 tests (4 packages of antigen rapid self-tests) per month without a doctor's note or other documentation. No appointment is needed.
When to Use a Home Test
- If you have symptoms of COVID-19: Use a home test as soon as you feel ill.
- If you were in close contact with someone who has COVID-19: Test at least 5 days after your last exposure. If your result is negative, consider testing again in 1-2 days.
- If you are going to an indoor event or gathering, test right before you go, especially if you will be in a county with a high COVID-19 Community Level. This is important if you will be around people at increased risk (such as those 65 and over), or people who are not vaccinated.