UVA Health expert advises checking to see if COVID-19 test is really expired

Expired COVID-19 Antigen Home Test
Expired COVID-19 Antigen Home Test(wvir)
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 5:23 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - UVA Health experts are warning people to check the expirations on their old COVID tests, as tests past their expiration dates could show skewed results.

“Mostly, we worry about false negatives, but you can also have false positives,” Doctor Amy Mathers said. “Essentially, the test has not been really studied out past the expiration date.”

She says that since there was such a push to roll out at-home tests, the shelf life was not studied to its full duration. Those dates on the box, may be a bit premature.

“The FDA actually has amended some of the expiration dates, so before you throw your test out, you should go to the FDA website and see if actually there’s an extended expiration date,” Dr. Mathers said.

While the expiration date may not be the issue, Dr. Mathers says that some false results could also be due to the uncertainty of the new variant.

“We know with Omicron, that actually people are testing positive longer on the antigen,” she said.

If you don’t feel sick but you’re testing positive, Dr. Mathers says you should still isolate or take a PCR test to be safe.

“Even though things have changed, the same principles apply,” she said.

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