These Photos of Positive Covid Tests at Home May Help You Read Yours (2023)

Covid testing has come a long way since 2020. At the start of the pandemic, tests were unreliable and nearly impossible to obtain, but now most of us can make a same-day appointment at drive-through testing locations in our states. Even better, we now have access tocovid tests at homeSo if you're well equipped, we don't even have to leave the house to take a test. They're useful - and sometimes necessary - for a lot of things, like international travel or just attending a big event like a wedding. These tests are incredibly helpful, but to read your test accurately, it helps to have photos of positive Covid tests as a reference.

Are home Covid tests reliable?

Given that the virus itself is so new and still has so many unknowns, it's fair to ask whether the home Covid test is reliable or not. "Yes [the Covid home test is reliable], but like all testing platforms it has pros and cons," he saysThomas Denny, Professor de Medicina no Duke Human Vaccine Institute da Duke University School of Medicine.

The best way to ensure a negative result is accurate is to keep testing, says Denny. "[False negatives] can be counteracted by repeating the test every few days. Repeated negatives increase the certainty of a true negative."

Antigen vs PCR: different types of Covid tests available for home testing

There are two types of FDA-approved Covid-19 diagnostic tests for home testing: rapid antigen tests and molecular tests. Rapid antigen tests usually detect Covid if you carry a lot of the virus. Molecular tests tend to be more sensitive, allowing you to detect Covid infection earlier than antigen tests - from a few hours to a few days faster. However, this accuracy and speed comes at a price and the antigen test is still an incredibly useful tool for detecting the contagious Covid infection. It should be noted that the Covid self-tests are carried out at homenot so reliablesuch as those performed in a laboratory environment. However, if you have a positive result on a rapid antigen or molecular test, you should trust that result because false positives are very, very rare, says Denny.

How and When to Get a Covid Test

“One of the biggest variables in any test is a quality swab process,” says Denny. Therefore, it is extremely important to read and follow the instructions for your home Covid test to get an accurate result. There is no perfect answer for when to get a Covid test at home. "When a person becomes positive depends on the variant because they have different incubation periods and how much contact someone has had," explains Denny.

It's best to test as soon as you start experiencing symptoms or as soon as you know you've been exposed. If it comes back as a false negative at that point, Denny says you "probably won't be able to spread [the virus] to anyone else that day." However, do not immediately rely on a negative result, wait another day or two and take another test (and possibly another day or two after that).

However, how do you know if the test is positive? Here are some photos of positive Covid test results to help you read your result.


BinaxNow Covid-19 Antigen Self Test

OBinaxNow Covid-19 Antigen Self Testcomes with a cotton swab and a test solution. Unlike many other home Covid tests, this one has a folding card used for the test. After rubbing your nose, put a few drops of the solution in a small hole, insert the cotton swab into the hole, twist it a few times and wait 15 minutes for the results. As you can see in this photo, read your results in a small window using a test strip with a control line and a sample line. The darkness of the sample line can vary, but even a faint line should be considered positive.


Quidel QuickVue OTC COVID-19 Home Test Kit

AsQuidel QuickVue OTC COVID-19 Home Test Kit, rub your nose, then place the cotton swab in a small tube with a test solution. You twist the swab and dip a test strip into the tube to test the sample. After 10 minutes you can check your results. The test strip has a control line, and if a second line (also known as a test line) appears, however faint, it should be read as a positive result.


FlowFlex COVID-19 Antigen Home Test

Similar to many other home Covid tests, with theFlowFlex COVID-19 Antigen Home TestYou will be given a cotton swab, a tube of solution and a test. Swirl the swab around each nostril to collect your sample, then swirl in the solution-filled tube. Close the top of the tube and place four drops into the small test window marked “S” (for sample). Results are displayed within 15 minutes and if you see both a dark or faint control line and a test line, the test is positive.


10-minute On/Go Covid-19 Antigen Self-Test

What defines the10-minute On/Go Covid-19 Antigen Self-TestIn addition to most other at-home Covid tests, it gives you access to an app to read your results. You proceed similarly to the other tests, swirling the swab inside both nostrils, dipping it in the test solution, and then applying a few drops of the solution to a test. After about 10 minutes you can use the app to take a picture of the test and it will let you know if it's positive, negative or invalid. The app is good because it also tracks your testing history and gives you the ability to share your results with others.


Lucira Check-It Covid-19 Test Kit

Yes, this is indeed a picture of aNegativeCovid test result but still useful. If you use theLucira Check-It Covid-19 Test Kit, insert the batteries into the Test Reader to ensure it is ready to use (a green light will appear at the top next to 'Ready'). Then place the test cup on the test unit (don't squeeze it) and leave it there while you use the test stick to collect your sample in each nostril. When you're done rubbing your nose, insert the swab all the way into the test pad until you feel it touch the ground. Close the shackle and push it into the device until you hear a click. The Ready light will begin to flash to indicate that the test is running. The test takes about 30 minutes, and you'll know it's complete when a green light appears next to Completed in the top-right corner of your device. If the test is positive,a green light appears next to “positive”.on the test device and not next to "negative" as you can see in this photo. If both "positive" and "negative" light up, the test is invalid.


iHealth Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Test

If you applied for the free Covid at-home tests through the federal government, you may have received them.iHealth Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Test. It works similarly to most of the others on this list. You will swab each nostril of your nose and then place the swab in a tube containing a test solution. Then close the tube, converting it into a pipette, and add three drops to the small oval sample window. Results will appear within 15 minutes and if there is a line under the 'T' you will have a positive result. As you can see in this photo, the positive "T" line can appear darker than the "C" (control) line, the same color or much lighter.


Elume Covid-19 test at home

AsElume Covid-19 test at homeYou don't have to worry about reading your own results because, thanks to Bluetooth technology, an app does it for you. After taking the test, it will process for about 15 minutes before the result is displayed on your phone via the app.

It's worth noting that this test doesn't have great online reviews. So if you are looking for a Covid test at home, be careful with this test.


CLINITEST Covid-19 rapid antigen test

For theCLINITEST Covid-19 rapid antigen test, swirl the swab inside each nostril and then around the provided test tube six times before letting it sit for a full minute. After the minute has elapsed, remove the cotton swab and place the dropper tip into the tube. Add four drops of sample (the round dot with an "S") to the test and wait 15 minutes. If two lines appear on the test, it is positive.


InteliSwab Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Test at Home

A positive result inInteliSwab Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Test at Homeit may look a little different than most other home tests, so it's very important that you read your results carefully. As you can see in this photo, a test line is considered positive if it is present, whether it is dark, light, or no visible control line. The missing control line can be a bit confusing. So if you look down at your results and see a single line, it's very important to double-check that it's next to the "C" and not next to the "T" (a control line) without a test line is a negative result).


Access the Bio CareStart Covid-19 Antigen home test

AsAccess the Bio CareStart Covid-19 Antigen home test, collect your nasal sample on a cotton swab and mix it with the test solution in the tube provided. Then place the pipette on top of the tube and place three drops of the sample/solution into the square window of the test sample. Your result will appear within 15 minutes, and if you see a test line of any kind, no matter how dark, the test is positive.


Celltrion DiaTrust Covid-19 Home Test

Similar to other at-home Covid tests, theCelltrion DiaTrust Covid-19 Home Testuses a nasal swab to collect a sample for testing. After wiping the inside of both nostrils, mix your sample with the test solution in the tube provided, place three drops of the solution into the circular test sample window and wait 15 minutes for results. If two lines appear, no matter how dark the test line is, you are positive for Covid-19.


Kit de teste digital BD Veritor At-Home COVID-19

Der BD VeritorDigital COVID-19 test kit at homeuses an app to provide test results (but make sure your phone is compatible with the app before purchasing the test). The procedure for taking the test is the same as most others, a nasal swab, test tube and dropper, but when the 15 minute wait is over you scan the test and instead of reading the results yourself , the app will have it read to you.


Cue Health At-Home COVID-19-Testlösung

Cue Health's test, which claims to be the most accurate at-home Covid test, is a molecular Covid test, not a PCR. Instead, this test is a "nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) designed to detect the genetic material in SARS-CoV-2". Used by everyone from NBA players to Oprah Winfrey, this is definitely one of the most sophisticated Covid tests out there and is priced accordingly. HerCue-Starter-Kit— including the reusable hint reader (which you need to read your results) and three tests — costs $444.


Boson Biotech Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Test

This rapid antigen test is characterized by a shelf life of six monthsBoson-Biotechwill be very familiar to anyone who has had a Covid test at home. Nasal swab, wait 15 minutes, review your results. If you are asymptomatic, it is recommended to be tested at least twice in three days for the most accurate results.


Detect Covid-19 initial test kit

Like the Cue Covid test and the Lucira test, thedetect covid testit's a molecular test - a NAAT, like Cue - which means it's more accurate than antigen tests and - yes - also more expensive. It's not nearly as expensive as the Cue, though—a starter kit that includes a reusable hub and a single Detect Covid test is $55. You collect a nasal swab similar to an antigen test and then place the sample in the Detect-Hub for processing. From there, it takes just over an hour to get the results, which will appear on your phone once they're ready.


InBios Covid-19 rapid self-test

This FDA-approved rapid antigen test is a hitInBios Internationalthis seems a little simpler than the others - maybe it's the clunky "cassette" that displays your results or the bright colors? Regardless, this home Covid test is easy to use and very affordable. They suggest you only need to insert the swab 1/2 inch into the nose — and even less for young children — to collect the sample, which also seems a little more workable than some of the others.


ClearDetect COVID-19 Home Antigen Test

All test results in this photo show a positive result - even the faintest second line means positive. OMaximBio ClearDetect Covid test at homeis FDA-approved for use in individuals over 2 years of age, with the restriction that an adult may collect the specimen if the tested individual is under 14 years of age. The shelf life of this test is eight months and results are available within 15 minutes.

“Testing is an important tool in limiting infection to others, and we must continue to build strong testing capabilities in the US,” Denny reiterated. Using these photos of positive Covid test results as a reference point can be very helpful in determining whether or not you have tested positive for the virus. If you see signs of a positive result - even a very faint second line - you should assume you have Covid and see your doctor.


Thomas Denny, MSc, MPhil, Professor de Medicina no Duke Human Vaccine Institute, Duke University School of Medicine

This article was originally published in

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