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Is there an expiration date on at-home COVID tests? | Verify

Yes, we can Verify, at-home rapid antigen COVID-19 tests have expiration dates, but the shelf-life varies from brand to brand.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Millions of Americans ordered at-home COVID-19 tests this week when the government's site went live. 

But there may be something else to pay attention to when you get those tests.

ABC10 received a great question from Denise Halfacre, of Woodland, asking if there is an expiration date with at-home COVID tests?

The Question

Do at-home COVID tests have an expiration date? 

The Sources

The Answer

This is true.

Yes, we can Verify, at-home rapid antigen COVID-19 tests have expiration dates, but the shelf-life varies from brand to brand.

Pharmacists warn about expiration dates and say using old tests could mean inaccurate results. A PCR test is still the preferred test if you believe you have COVID-19 or have been exposed to the virus.

Denise bought a test two weeks ago at a CVS in Natomas. She immediately noticed the expiration date on the back of the box, March 2022. 

"We can not hoard these kits for the in-case-your-exposed days if they can expire so quickly," Denise said. 

Pharmacists suggest against stockpiling tests because of the expiration dates and the low supplies currently being seen in stores.

Earlier this month, the FDA extended the shelf life of roughly 1 million COVID tests that were thought to have expired in a Florida warehouse. 

Can you still use an expired test? Experts say not to use the test past the expiration date printed on the box unless you know for certain it has been given an extension.

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