Updated Oct. 13, 2023

At-Home Testing

At-home testing may be an ideal testing option for some people under certain circumstances. Here’s an overview of what to do if you test positive:

  • If you test positive, isolate for five days and then continue to wear a mask around others for five days after ending isolation.
  • If you are at high risk for complications from COVID-19, contact your health care provider right away or look for a test-to-treat clinic. It is important to start treatment as soon as possible.
  • Tell anyone that you have been around, including friends, family and your workplace, that you have tested positive.
  • Report your rapid test results to the Washington State Department of Health (DOH). Washingtonians can report positive test results by doing one of the following:
    1. Report positive test results through the Say Yes! COVID Test Digital Assistant.
    2. Call 1-800-525-0127 and press # (press #7 for Spanish, or speak the language you need when the call is connected).
    3. If you need assistance with isolation, such as food, personal care kits, or other needs, visit Care Connect Washington or call or text the program hotline at 1.833.453.0336.
    4. Answer the call or text from contact tracing. Your phone will identify the caller as "WA Health."

For more information about self-testing, see this guide.

Free At-Home Tests

Households can order up to four rapid tests through the federal government’s COVID-19 testing program. These tests may be used by anyone. Rapid antigen tests can be self-administered at home with results in as little as fifteen minutes.

How to Order
  • Online at covidtests.gov
  • Or by calling 1.800.232.0233 (TTY 1.888.720.7489).
    A Disability Information and Access Line is available to help those with disabilities order tests at 1.888.677.1199.

Test Expiration

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only recommends using at-home COVID-19 tests within their authorized expiration dates because tests break down over time.* Because of this, expired test kits could give invalid results.

COVID-19 tests have an expiration date on the package, but you don’t necessarily need to throw them away at that date. The FDA has issued new expiration dates for certain COVID-19 testing products. When using an at-home test that has passed its expiration date as shown on the package, make sure to check the FDA’s listing of Authorized At-Home OTC COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests to see if the product you are using has an extended expiration date.

*Previously, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) allowed for the use of expired tests. When the federal government ended the public health emergency, CMS reversed this guidance, stating that expired tests should not be used. The DOH supports this updated guidance.