CHARLOTTE, NC. — How do you know when to take an at-home covid test? Dr. Arin Piramzadian with Starmed Healthcare says to use them when you have symptoms. The results can be up to 94% effective. If you don’t have symptoms, results are only about 30-40% effective.
“If you’re taking this test because you’ve been exposed to someone and you don’t have symptoms it’s honestly a waste of your time,” Dr. Piramzadian says.
He says if you have symptoms for 2 to 3 days, it’s worth taking a test.
“The problem is if you have a headache all of a sudden, that doesn’t mean that’s definitely Covid. If you have a little bit of a runny nose that could be allergies, that could be a different viral infection. So there’s a lot of symptoms out there that unfortunately look like Covid but really aren’t.”
A rapid at-home test can also give a false-negative result, so if you have symptoms and test negative, you should get a PCR test to make sure.
“So what a rapid antigen test looks for is antigens. Which is your body’s reaction to a virus. So it’s a yes or no test. So like a pregnancy test it’s yes or no these give you a quick answer but it’s not definitive.”
The county will be giving out free at-home covid tests at several locations. Click here for more information.