Your At Home COVID Test May Not Actually Be Expired
We got our COVID tests shipped to our door earlier this year. We did have a run of COVID hit our home and both kids tested positive with the at-home kit. They both had symptoms that were rather mild, but we tested to just be sure. Fortunately for the rest of the summer, we have dodged any respiratory illnesses (besides seasonal allergies). Now the kids are just over a week back into school and we had the first case of the sniffles show up. We went to grab the COVID at-home test to rule the illness out and noticed that it expired in June.
We weren't sure if it actually expired. Lots of things are good after their expiration date, right? It turns out that some of these over-the-counter tests have actually extended their expiration date. Manufacturers that have extended the expiration dates have provided data showing that the shelf-life is longer than originally thought.
The FDA has a list of the different OTC COVID-19 tests on its website. The government shipped us the iHealth Labs test. Our expiration date says June, but the updated expiration date is actually in December. So we are good to keep using these tests for the inevitable cold and flu season to hit our house.
Some tests have a shelf-life of only 6 months. Others have a shelf life of 18 months. It all depends on the brand you have. Keep checking back on the FDA site as well, because they continuously update it when more extended dates are authorized.