Here is an important thing to check before buying or using a quick home COVID test

If you’re among those lucky enough to get your hands on a COVID-19 test at home during omicron rise, pharmacists say it’s a good idea to check the expiration date.

There have been over-the-counter rapid antigen tests hard to find in the Bay Area and other places where demand has risen, with security decisions, quarantine and isolation depends on whether you test positive or negative.

But pharmacists say there is another wrinkle: Test kits have a durability, and using old tests can mean inaccurate results.

Here’s what pharmacists and test manufacturers say about expiration dates, what they mean, and what to do if you find that your test kit has expired.

What do the expiration dates for antigen testing at home mean?

Each test manufacturer marks expiration dates on the outside of the test boxes – and the durability differs from brand to brand.

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