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Rapid Antigen Testing for COVID-19

Last updated: January 18, 2022
Use a rapid antigen test at home to find out if you have COVID-19. The results will be ready in less than 20 minutes.

Rapid antigen tests are available at some testing locations for people with symptoms. Find out where to get tested,
Using an at-home kit
Rapid tests are done by collecting a sample from each nostril, using a swab. The swab will only go a few centimetres inside your nose; it should not hurt. Use tests only as directed.

Follow the instructions for the test device you are using. On this page you will find instructions for:

A number of rapid antigen tests have had their expiry dates extended with Health Canada approval, after additional quality testing of the components of the test kits.

All expiration dates have been extended by 12 months from the expiration date you see on the rapid test kit components for the BD Veritor and Abbott Panbio (nasal and NP) tests that are in use in B.C.

Abbott Panbio test


Instructions document is currently available in the following languages: 

There are three videos to help guide you through the process. Read through the instructions and watch the videos before you begin.

  • Blow your nose and discard the tissue 
  • Do not use this test if you have a nose bleed
  • Wash your hands with soap
  • Gather all testing equipment

You will need: 

  • 1x test device
  • 1x sterile swab
  • Buffer liquid vial
  • 1x test tube with blue cap
  • small glass or cup
  • A timer 
  • Garbage can
  • Twist the top off the buffer liquid vial.
  • Squeeze all the buffer liquid into the test tube. 
  • Place the filled test tube in a holder like a clean glass or cup
  • Remove the swab from the packaging. Touch only the plastic handle.
  • Tilt your head back.
  • Insert the cotton end of the swab straight back (not up) into one nostril for 2.5 cm.
  • Place the swab against the inside of your nose. Gently twist 5 times.
  • Repeat in your other nostril with the same swab.
Watch the video below for instructions.

Swab

  • Gently insert the cotton end of the swab into the test tube:
  • Swirl the swab gently and slowly in the liquid 5 times, pressing it against the sides of the tube.
  • With the swab inside, pinch the outside of the tube with your fingers to get the remaining liquid out of the swab tip.
  • Break the swab at the break-point there is an indentation. Leave the swab in the tube.
  • Screw the blue cap on the tube.

Test device

  • Open a test device and place it on a flat surface.
  • Remove the white nozzle cap of the tube.
  • Slowly squeeze 5 drops onto the circle on the test device

Watch the video below for instructions.

PerformingPanbiotest.PNG

  1. Set a timer for 15 minutes 
  2. Check your result. Your result could be:
    • Positive
    • Negative 
    • Invalid
  3. Put all testing equipment in the garbage
  4. Wash your hands.

Watch this short video for more instructions:

Interpretingtestresults.PNG


Artron

Open the instructions for using your Artron test

Instructions document is currently available in the following languages: 


Blow your nose and discard the tissue 

  • Do not use this test if you have a nose bleed
  • Wash your hands with soap
  • Gather all testing equipment

You will need: 

  • 1x sterile swab
  • 1x test tube with buffer liquid
  • 1x cap for test tube
  • Test tube rack or a small glass
  • 1x test device
  • A timer and garbage can
 

  • Peel the foil off the filled test tube.
  • Place the filled test tube in the test tube holder or a clean glass or cup


 
  • Remove the swab from the packaging. Touch only the plastic handle.
  • Tilt your head back.
  • Insert the cotton end of the swab straight back (not up) into one nostril for 1.5 cm.
  • Turn the swab against the inside of your nose for 5 seconds.
  • Place the swab against the inside of your nose to sample nasal fluid. Gently and slowly rotate 5 times.
  • Repeat the same steps in your other nostril.
  • Do not use the swab for testing if there is any blood on it. Blow your nose and use a clean swab. If you have had a nose bleed wait 24 hours before testing.


 
  • Gently insert the cotton end of the swab into the test tube.
  • Swirl the swab gently in the liquid 10 times.
  • With the swab inside, pinch the outside of the tube with your fingers to get the remaining liquid out of the swab tip.
  • Remove the swab and put it in the garbage.
  • Push the cap firmly on the test tube.
Test device
  • Open a test device and place it on a flat surface.
  • Slowly squeeze 4 drops onto the circle on the test device, do not touch the device with the test tube.
 
  • Set a timer for 30 minutes. Readings after 30 minutes may not be accurate. 
  • Do not move the test device during this time.
  • Check your result. Your result could be:
    • Positive
    • Negative 
    • Invalid
  • Put all testing equipment in the garbage
  • Wash your hands.


 
 

BD Veritor

Open the instructions for using your BD Veritor rapid antigen test device.

Instructions document is currently available in the following languages: 


  • Blow your nose and discard the tissue 
  • Do not use this test if you have a nose bleed
  • Wash your hands with soap
  • Gather all testing equipment
You will need
  • 1x sterile swab
  • 1x test tube with yellow cap and liquid
  • Test tube holder 
  • a small glass or cup (optional)
  • 1x test device
  • A timer and garbage can

Place the test tube in the test tube holder or a clean glass or cup.

  • Remove swab from packaging, touch only the plastic handle.
  • Tilt your head back.
  • Insert the cotton end of the swab straight back (not up) into one nostril for 2.5 cm or when you meet resistance.
  • Turn the swab against the inside of your nose 5 times.
  • Repeat same steps in your other nostril.
  • Do not use the swab for testing if there is any blood on it. Blow your nose and use a clean swab. 
  • Gently insert the cotton end of the swab into the test tube.
  • Plunge the swab up and down in the liquid for 15 seconds.
  • With the swab inside, pinch the outside of the tube with your fingers to get the remaining liquid out of the swab tip.
  • Remove the swab from the tube and put in the garbage.
  • Push the plastic cap attached to the tube firmly on the tube. You should hear a faint click sound.
  • Gently tap the side of the tube a few times to mix the solution.
Test device
  • Open a test device and place it on a flat surface.
  • Slowly squeeze 3 drops onto the sample square on the test device.
  • Set a timer for 15 minutes. Readings after 20 minutes may not be accurate. 
  • Do not move the test device during this time.
  • Check your result. Your result could be:
    • Positive
    • Negative 
    • Invalid
  • Put all testing equipment in the garbage.
  • Wash your hands.

BTNX


Follow the instructions in the second column for the nasal swab sampling (Step 2 - Option B)

  • Blow your nose and discard the tissue 
  • Do not use this test if you have a nose bleed
  • Wash your hands with soap
  • Gather all testing equipment
You will need
  • 1x sterile swab
  • 1x test tube
  • Plastic vial with buffer liquid
  • Test tube rack or a small glass
  • 1x test device
  • Timer and garbage can
  • Twist the top off the buffer liquid vial.
  • Squeeze all the buffer liquid into the test tube. 
  • Place the filled test tube in the test tube holder or a clean glass or cup.
  • Remove the swab from the packaging. Touch only the plastic handle.
  • Tilt your head back.
  • Insert the cotton end of the swab straight back (not up) into one nostril for 2.5 cm or when you meet resistance
  • Turn the swab against the inside of your nose for 5 seconds.
  • Press the side of your nose with your finger to trap the swab. Rotate the swab for 5 seconds
  • Repeat same steps in your other nostril.
  • Do not use the swab for testing if there is any blood on it. Blow your nose and use a clean swab. If you have had a nose bleed wait 24 hours before testing.
  • Gently insert the cotton end of the swab into the test tube:
  • Swirl the swab gently in the liquid and squeeze the swab with the sides of the tube 10-15 times.
  • Place the tube in the glass or test tube rack and leave with the swab in the solution for 2 minutes.
  • With the swab inside, pinch the outside of the tube with your fingers to get the remaining liquid out of the swab tip.
  • Remove the swab and put in the garbage.
  • Attach the nozzle to the tube.

Test device

  • Open a test device and place it on a flat surface.
  • Slowly squeeze 3 drops onto the circle on the test device.
  • Set a timer for 15 minutes. Readings after 20 minutes may not be accurate.
  • Do not move the test device during this time.
  • Check your result. Your result could be:
    • Positive
    • Negative 
    • Invalid
  • Put all testing equipment in the garbage
  • Wash your hands.



Test results

Seek medical care if you feel you need it, regardless of whether you test positive or negative.

Negative result

  • If your result is negative, it means COVID-19 was not detected. It is still possible that you have COVID-19.
  • Self-isolate until your symptoms improve and you feel well enough to return to regular activities.
  • If you are a close contact and test negative, you still need to self-isolate for 10 days from the day you had contact with the person who has COVID-19 unless you are fully vaccinated or had COVID-19 within the last 90 days. 

Positive result

If your result is positive, it means COVID-19 was detected. You likely have COVID-19 and you could pass it on to others. 

  • If you are fully vaccinated: Self-isolate for at least 5 days from the first day you had symptoms. You should wear a mask even in settings where a mask isn’t required and avoid higher risk settings, such as long term care facilities and gatherings, for another 5 days after ending isolation.
  • If you are not fully vaccinated: Self-isolate for at least 10 days from the first day you had symptoms.
For information on next steps including ending isolation, managing symptoms and notifying close contacts, go to:
I Have COVID-19

Invalid result

  • If your test is not valid, discard all the pieces from the first test.
  • Wash your hands and repeat the process using the second set of test pieces.
  • Follow the test instructions again.  
  • If you have two invalid test results, get a COVID-19 test at a testing location. Find a testing location.


I tested positive
If you test positive for COVID-19, you need to:

1. Self-isolate, manage your symptoms and let others knowWhat to do if you have COVID-19

2. Complete an online form to report your test result

Fill out an online form to report a new positive test result to public health. You will be asked about your health history and where you have been before you got sick with COVID-19. The information you provide will help public health prioritize people who may benefit from public health follow up. 
Report your positive result

Your participation is voluntary. The information you provide is kept secure and is for public health assessment only. Public health may contact you to follow-up. 

You can fill out this form for yourself or on behalf of someone else like a child or someone you are caring for. If you need help, you can ask someone like a family member or friend to help you.


Download a copy of the instructions

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SOURCE: Rapid Antigen Testing for COVID-19 ( )
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