COVID-19 Self-Test Frequently Asked Questions
Why Use a COVID-19 Self-Test?
COVID-19 self-tests are one of many 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.
How do I use the iHealth self-test?
Please follow the iHealth instructions for performing the test. They are also enclosed in the test kit. Additional languages are available online.
Each kit has two test cards. Can I use one of them for two people?
Each kit is meant for one person. If your first test is negative, use the second test 24-48 hours later, per manufacturer’s instructions.
When should I use it?
- Around the holidays - don’t spread COVID-19!
- Use a self-test before going to indoor gatherings with people who are not in your household, in order to make sure you are not spreading infection.
- Use a self-test if you are feeling sick to quickly learn if you might have 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. Consider using these self-tests before joining indoor gatherings or activities with others who are not your close contacts.
I feel fine, but I am going to a party on New Year’s Eve. Should I use it?
Yes. Before joining others at an indoor party, use the test to make sure you aren’t infecting others.
What does a positive COVID-19 Self-Test Result Mean?
- 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.)
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?
The self-test kits are able to identify COVID-19 variants.
How accurate are the iHealth COVID-19 self-tests?
Based on the results of a clinical study where the iHealth® COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test was compared to an FDA authorized molecular SARS-CoV-2 test, iHealth® COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test correctly identified 94.3% of positive specimens and 98.1% of negative specimens.
For more information on the iHealth test kits, please visit their website at (scroll to bottom of page for FAQs) : iHealth Covid 19 Antigen Rapid Test Details – iHealth Labs Inc
For more information on self-test kits, please visit the CDC website at: Self-Testing | CDC
Community and Tribal Nation Guidance for COVID-19 Self Tests and Masks:
Testing is critically important to help reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Self-testing is also useful for screening for COVID-19 immediately before an activity to see if you are positive for COVID-19. Self-testing offers fast results and is one of several options for testing available.
Testing is only one of many risk-reduction measures. Vaccination & getting a booster shot, masking and social distancing are also essential risk-reduction actions people should take to stop the spread of COVID-19. Whenever possible, municipal officials and tribal nation elders should promote vaccination, masking and social distancing in their communities.
Here are some guidelines for the community-based distribution of COVID-19 self-tests:
- The majority of COVID-19 self-tests are being distributed through cities and towns:
- Cities and towns have discretion to develop the distribution model that best fits their community
- Distribution should prioritize vulnerable populations and provide access to self-test kits after traditional work hours
- Cities and towns may use a portion of the tests to ensure the availability of their essential workforce (e.g., emergency responders)
- Please encourage people to take only what they need for immediate use; limit distribution to a maximum of four self-test kits per household
- Directions in English and Spanish are enclosed in test kits. Additional languages will be posted online in the upcoming day(s)
- It’s important that the self-test kits are stored between 36 – 86 degrees Fahrenheit
- All towns/tribal nations can pick up test kits at the designated DEMHS regional sites on Thursday, December 30th
Here are some guidelines for the community-based distribution of masks:
- In the upcoming week, the state of Connecticut will also be working with communities to distribute masks to residents
- There will be no limit on N95 masks being requested from communities
- DEMHS regional coordinators will provide guidance to communities and partner agencies on submitting WebEOC resource requests for N95 masks
- The following schedule reflects the distribution plan for requested N95 masks:
- Wednesday, January 5th: Regions 1 and 2 can pick up masks at designated DEMHS regional sites
- Thursday, January 6th: Regions 3, 4, and 5 can pick up masks at designated DEMHS regional sites
**Please reach out to your regional DEMHS coordinator if you have any questions about the locations or logistics**
Thank you for your participation in this initiative
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