Why You Should Go to the ER Instead of Taking an At-Home Covid-19 Test
At-home Covid-19 tests, also known as self-tests and over-the-counter tests, have become a popular option to minimize the spread of the virus. While they are accessible, this test kit isn’t accurate enough to provide a trustworthy diagnosis. PCR tests like those we perform at ER of Texas are precise and effective to know whether your symptoms are due to Covid-19 or another virus such as the flu or strep.
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the symptoms below, call 911 or go to your closest emergency room.
COVID-19 Related Symptoms
- Difficulty breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
Other Emergency Symptoms
Mild COVID-19 Symptoms
Maintaining the following safety measures helps keep you and your loved ones healthy:
- Getting vaccinated and boosted
- Careful handwashing
- Bluish lips or face
However, knowing how to test for Covid-19 properly is important to quickly isolate if your result is positive and learn what treatment options are available.
At-Home Covid-19 Test Kits Aren’t Reliable
You can purchase rapid antigen tests at pharmacies and drugstores like CVS or Walgreens online or in stores. As of January 2022, the federal government allows each household to get four at-home test kits for free. At-home Covid-19 tests are less sensitive than PCR tests performed by a medical provider. At-home kits only have an accuracy rate of up to 85 percent.
If you choose to test for Covid-19 at home, carefully read the instructions before taking your test, as directions can vary depending on which brand you got. Failing to perform one or more of the steps correctly increases the chances of inaccuracy. False negatives can happen when you are asymptomatic. You may also receive a false negative if the virus load in your organism isn’t high enough for the test to notice it, even when you are experiencing symptoms.
Where to Get an Accurate and Comprehensive Test
If you have symptoms or have been exposed to Covid-19, we recommend that you either contact or visit us to get an accurate test. We can also perform tests if your locality, school, or employer requires them. Our tests benefit from testing for flu and strep, which helps us know what type of care you need to recover, no matter your immunization status.
If you are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, contact nearest ER of Texas to discuss your testing and treatment options with our board-certified ER physicians, licensed nurses. Our full-service ER is available 24/7 for Covid-19 emergency treatment without waiting in line. Here are answers to questions about emergency room visits, health insurance, and more.