Expired COVID Test? Don’t Worry it’s Probably Still Good
That's according to some health officials.
Back a few months ago, many of us signed up to receive FREE at-home COVID test kits from the federal government. If you signed up and received them in the mail and still have them at home, you might not know this but most of those tests are getting ready to expire.
According to WRGB, test kits that some received a few months ago will soon expire according to the expiration dates that are printed on boxes. If you look closely at most test kits, they all have a "best used by date" printed on them, but it's likely that even if the test you have at home is expired, it will still work.
Why do COVID Test Kits Have an Expiration Date if They Don't Expire?
When the push by the Biden Administration started the makers of test kits came to an agreement with the Food and Drug Administration to get them out as quickly as possible, Dr. Ann Loeffler told WRGB, "The special arrangement they made with the FDA, for at least some of these brands, is that they would put what’s considered a tentative expiration date or actually some of them have no expiration date."
Some companies included an expiration date because they didn't have enough time to see if the test actually expire or not, "It would be ideal to know that a test could be sitting on your shelf for a year, two years, three years and still be effective, but if the companies had waited that long to test their kits, you know, they wouldn’t have been able to get them to market in time".
Should we Trust Expired Results?
The FDA does not recommend using expired tests, but did say, "the expiration dates for at-home COVID-19 diagnostic tests may be extended as additional stability data is collected." If you have an expired test and would like to see if it is part of the "expiration extension", the full list can be found here.