With COVID-19 cases surging again in the United States, a lot of folks are looking to use at-home tests they bought earlier in the pandemic, but do expired tests actually work? According to a recent NBC News article, some do and some don’t. The FDA has extended the expiration dates for many popular at-home tests, deeming them safe to use. To check if your expired test is still valid, you can visit the FDA's website, which lists expiration information for each test brand.
While lab PCR tests remain a reliable way to detect COVID-19, they have become more expensive and less accessible for some Americans since the end of the public health emergency. This has led to changes in how public and private insurers cover at-home tests, potentially leaving some people unable to access free tests through their insurance plans. Despite the challenges, public health experts emphasize the importance of testing as a crucial tool for protection, and certain local health clinics and community sites still offer at-home tests to the public at no cost. Therefore, before purchasing new at-home tests, it's advisable to check if any expired ones in your possession are still safe to use.