What kinds of tests are available?
A handful of rapid antigen tests are available without a prescription, including the Abbott BinaxNOW, the Ellume Covid-19 Home Test and the Quidel QuickVue At-Home Covid-19 Test. Prices start at about $7 per test, although President Biden has announced plans to reduce prices by roughly one-third.
All three detect small viral proteins, called antigens. The tests require rubbing a shallow nasal swab inside your nostrils and then exposing the swab to a few drops of chemicals. They provide results in about 15 minutes.
The tests themselves are fairly straightforward, but each one involves a slightly different procedure, which should be followed to the letter. “If you’re doing at-home tests, you must read the instructions and follow them meticulously,” said Dr. Patrick Godbey, a former president of the College of American Pathologists.