At a glance
- Ages 2+
- Requires only one test
- Approved in multiple countries
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Roche now offers an at-home test kit to check your COVID-19 symptoms. It’s approved for self-testing in multiple countries across Europe and North America. Unlike some of its competitors, you only need to test yourself once with this kit. However, it doesn’t pair with an app to display your results, potentially making it less convenient for some.
The Roche COVID-19 self-test operates similarly to other at-home tests. Swab the inside of both nostrils, then insert the swab into the tube of solution and swirl. Squeeze three drops of the solution onto the test device, then wait 15 minutes for the results.
Your test device will show either:
If you receive an inconclusive result, you’ll need to buy another kit. Roche includes one test per kit.
Failing to follow the instructions can result in inaccurate results, so carefully read all paperwork with your kit before testing.
The Roche at-home rapid COVID test contains:
Two factors give Roche an edge over its competitors.
But Roche doesn’t pair with an app on your phone like BinaxNow, for example. An app helps to keep your results on your device as a convenient way to report results to your workplace.
Like the majority of at-home rapid tests for COVID-19, Roche is an antigen test, which looks for molecules found on the virus. However, a few at-home tests, like Cue, are molecular tests that experts say tend to be more accurate overall.
The US Food and Drug Administration authorized the Roche COVID-19 Home Test for emergency use in December 2021. Emergency use allows companies to bring their products to market faster in unusual circumstances, such as during a pandemic.
The FDA granted Roche’s authorization after it participated in the National Institutes of Health Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) Independent Test Assessment Program. This assessment concluded that the Roche at-home test kit produced “accurate, reliable and quick results in as few as 20 minutes for SARS-CoV-2 and all known variants of concern, including Omicron.”
The Roche kit does not meet the CDC’s travel requirements for testing.
If you test positive using the at-home kit, follow the instructions provided. The company recommends contacting your healthcare provider and isolating to avoid spreading the virus.
Your healthcare provider will work with you to determine how best to care for you based on your test result along with your medical history and symptoms.
Consult the CDC’s guidelines on exposure and quarantine for further guidance.
At-home rapid COVID tests — also called antigen tests — detect protein fragments specific to SAR-CoV-2. It’s a convenient way to test for COVID-19 without needing to leave your home or find a testing center. It reports results in as little as 15 minutes but isn’t as accurate as a PCR test.
Rapid tests are most accurate for those experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. While the false-positive rate is very low, the false negative rate is up to 50%.
Learn more about FDA-approved at-home COVID tests for emergency use by the public.
In December 2021, the White House announced a plan that includes nine actions to protect the health of Americans in the wake of spiking Delta and Omicron variants. Among them was expanding access to free at-home testing regardless of health insurance status.
Details aren’t yet in, but options are expected to include:
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Starting Jan. 18, every household can order up to four free at-home COVID-19 tests. But you’ll have to wait for them.
The quickest options can have testing kits delivered within the hour or shipped next day.
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