How do you self test for COVID and what’s the point of it?


This is an example of one of the companies selling self testing kits. This is generally what the kit would look like to keep and eye out whenever you head to the store next!

The disease that has become very well known, Covid-19, has been surging but also declining a lot over the past year or more. At first, there were no vaccines or ways to test the population if we had the disease or not. As time has passed, we’ve used advanced technology to develop vaccines, ways to get tested, and most importantly, know how to get treated. When COVID testing first began, it mainly consisted of people going to hospitals or drive-throughs, and booths would be held for it. As we’ve started to learn more about the virus, many companies have developed a way for people to test themselves and process their tests themselves to find their results. 

“Every day it goes up and up. The last weekly average was about 150,000, and it likely will go much higher,” Dr. Fauci said on ABC’s “This Week.” COVID is once again surging. New variants are beginning to spark like Omicron, the delta variant, and unfortunately, more to come. Self-testing, vaccines, and self-isolation should be utilized to reduce cases. 

Dr. Fauci also said, “It looks, in fact, that it (Omicron) might be less severe, at least from data that we’ve gathered from South Africa, from the UK and even some from preliminary data from here in the United States,” This variant hasn’t begun to spike entirely that much yet, and with self testing and taking the right precautions, we can keep it that way. 

COVID self-testing has been becoming popular recently due to the feeling of safety it provides customers. These self-tests are referred to as home tests or over the counter tests, and can be safely done by anyone, with or without experience. Self-testing along with the vaccines and many other precautions that are being taken have reduced COVID cases greatly. You can most definitely use these tests, regardless of your vaccines stats, or even if you’re facing symptoms or not. Most importantly, if you test positive, please isolate yourself and take the necessary precautions and steps after that. 

Sravya, a freshman, states,“Covid is definitely not getting any better and so making sure we are testing ourselves for covid is so important. And it is so much easier now because we are able to test from home and I feel that we should take advantage of it. Ultimately we should do everything we can to protect ourselves and the people around us and one such thing we can do is self test for covid.” She finally started in-person school following the year and a half she had distance learning due to the first spike. 

Many different companies have taken it upon themselves to make kits as self-explanatory and easy to use as possible. All of the kits that people use are different, so please read the instructions before taking any action. Here is what the instructions will generally consist of: 

  1. Prepare your test area – this usually means gathering all your materials and cleaning the surface you’re going to be working on
  2. Set up your test kit- this usually means preparing your swab, transferring liquids, etc
  3. Take your swab sample- tests are usually done by the nose and can be done by yourself. 
  4. Process the sample- test the swab however your kit tells you to.
  5. Read your result.