Rapid At-Home COVID-19 Test Kits
You and your healthcare provider might consider an at-home test if you have symptoms of COVID-19 and if you cannot get tested at a healthcare clinic or Covid-19 testing site in the community. At-home COVID-19 test kits allow you to self-collect a nasal swab at home and test using an over the counter rapid antigen Covid-19 test.
There are many options for Coloradoans to receive free at-home rapid antigen tests ranging from in-person pick-up, mail delivery from the federal government, and reimbursement from your insurance provider.
Pick up a test at a local community distribution center
Many locations across the state are partnering with CDPHE and local health departments to distribute at-home rapid antigen tests. Use the Map of Test Distribution Locations to find a location near you. There is a limited amount of test kits available, and it is possible a location may not have supply on-hand when you visit.
Order tests from the Federal Government
Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order a third round of 4 sets free at-home tests. Visit covidtests.gov to order your free tests. Need help placing an order for your at-home tests? Call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489).
Free Test Kits through your Insurance
Health First Colorado and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) will pay for at-home COVID-19 tests for members. You can get free at-home tests only at pharmacies that serve Health First Colorado and CHP+ members. There is no out-of-pocket cost. Health First Colorado and CHP+ will reimburse the pharmacies after members receive the free tests. Pharmacy location information.
If you have purchased at-home rapid antigen tests you may now be eligible for reimbursement through your health insurance provider. For answers to frequently asked questions, visit the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services website.
Eligible CVS Health consumers can visit CVS.com or the CVS App to utilize a new digital service that simplifies the process for locating, ordering, and picking up at-home COVID-19 test kits with zero upfront out-of-pocket cost and without the need for the consumer to submit a claim to their health insurance provider. See CVS Health for more details.
COVID-19 Treatment Information
If you test positive or think you might have COVID-19, you may be able to get treatment to help you recover. Treatment works best if it’s taken within a few days of when you first got sick. If you would like information about treatment options, please call the TCHD Treatment Team at 720-200-1552 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Telehealth options are available in Colorado for fast access to COVID-19 treatments. Telehealth means connecting with a doctor over the phone or through a video call. Visit the telehealth treatment providers webpage to learn more about telehealth options for Coloradoans.
Extended Expiration Dates-BinaxNOW and iHealth kits
There have been extended expiration dates on certain lots of BinaxNOW test kits. Check to see if your kit has an extended expiration date here.
The iHealth rapid test shelf life extended to nine months so kits can be used three months beyond the original expiration date printed on the outside of the package. See more information at CDPHE or FDA.gov.
Information on Rapid Testing
Self-tests for COVID-19 give rapid results regardless of your vaccination status or whether or not you have symptoms. They detect current infection and give you results in a few minutes. Test yourself if you have COVID-19 symptoms, you were exposed to someone with COVID-19, or you are going to an indoor event or gathering.
If you test positive, the test detected the virus and you have an infection. Stay home for at least 5 days and isolate from others in your home. Isolation and home care instructions can be found here. If you test negative for COVID-19, consider testing again in 1 to 2 days after your first test. If you test negative, the test did not detect the virus, but doesn’t rule out an infection. The home antigen tests are not as sensitive as the lab based PCR test.
More information on self-testing can be found on the CDC website and CDPHE website. Information on how to use an at-home test with instructional videos from each manufacturer in four languages and ASL and what your test results mean after you get your results. For translated resources in multiple languages and videos of at-home testing kit instructions by manufacturer, see University of Minnesota National Resource Center.
More information on tests authorized by the FDA by EUA can be found here.
Information After Testing
Once you have your test results, follow these instructions from CDPHE on how to interpret and report your results.
Storage and Stability
It is recommended to store and run the test at room temperature. If you are receiving kits in the mail, please bring them in to reduce the chance of inaccurate results from improper temperature storage. Most kits storage and stability range are 36 degrees to 86 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees - 30 degrees Celsius). It is best to check each individual manufacturer’s recommended storage as there may be different temperatures for different brands.
January 28, 2022. Empowered Diagnostics is recalling the CovClear COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test and ImmunoPass COVID-19 Neutralizing Antibody Rapid Test. These tests were distributed with labeling indicating they are authorized by the FDA, but neither test has been authorized, cleared, or approved for distribution or use in the United States by the FDA. Learn more from the FDA announcement.
March 1, 2022: FDA issued safety communication for specific unauthorized tests not approved by the FDA from these manufacturers. There are FDA approved tests from these manufacturers and can be found on the FDA website of Emergency Use Authorization for Medical Devices-Antigen Diagnostic Tests for SARS-CoV-2.
- The FDA issued a safety communication warning people not to use the Celltrion DiaTrust COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test that is in green and white packaging. The test has not been authorized, cleared or approved by the FDA for distribution or use in the United States. The FDA is concerned about the risk of false results when using this unauthorized test.
- The FDA issued a safety communication warning people not to use the SD Biosensor STANDARD Q COVID-19 Ag Home Test. This test is packaged in a white and magenta box and has not been authorized, cleared or approved by the FDA for distribution or use in the United States. The FDA is concerned about the risk of false results when using this unauthorized test.
- The FDA issued a safety communication warning people not to use the ACON Laboratories “Flowflex SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test (Self-Testing).” This test is packaged in a dark blue box and has not been authorized, cleared or approved by the FDA for distribution or use in the United States. The FDA is concerned about the risk of false results when using this unauthorized test.
On 4/29/22 the FDA warned of counterfeit at-home over-the-counter (OTC) COVID-19 diagnostic tests being distributed or used in the United States. These counterfeit tests should not be used or distributed. The FDA is not aware of any counterfeit tests distributed by the U.S. Government test distribution programs. At this time iHealth and Flowflex are the only products discovered, and picture details for each product can be viewed here. Please review our FAQ section for more information on how to spot a counterfeit test.