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WATCH: How to use a COVID home test

2 On Your Side sat down with University at Buffalo's chief of infectious diseases, Dr. Thomas Russo, and tried out the new home COVID test kits.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — During the beginning of the pandemic, getting a COVID-19 test involved making an appointment at a drive-thru testing clinic and waiting three to five days for results.

Now, thanks to COVID-19 antigen self tests, getting a test is as easy as a trip to the pharmacy, and it can be done in the privacy of your home.

2 On Your Side purchased a Binax NOW COVID-19 antigen self test at a pharmacy for $24 and sat down with University at Buffalo's chief of infectious diseases, Dr. Thomas Russo, to learn about how they work.

The package came with two tests that are recommended to be taken three days apart. It also came with two test cards, two dropper bottles, two swabs, and an instruction sheet.

First, you will need to remove the test card and place it flat on a table. Take the dropper bottle and add six drops of the solution into the upper hole of the test card.

Then you will swab each nostril with five big circles or 15 seconds to collect the nasal sample. Place the nasal swab into the test card and wait 15 minutes for your results.

Depending on the test you purchase, the directions and price may vary.

"The rapid tests are not as sensitive as the PCR tests, but they aren't bad. They are in the mid to high 80s, and if you're symptomatic, the sensitivity of these tests is much greater than if you are asymptomatic," Dr. Russo said.

Dr. Russo pointed out that people who chose to use the home tests are responsible to report that they tested positive.

"If you do a test at a health care facility and the result was positive, that would be reported to the state and subsequently the federal database. The home test you are in charge to report that. There is an app that comes with this, there is a barcode, so if you go ahead and get that app and you're positive, you should report that result," Dr. Russo continued.

Dr. Russo also talked about the importance of testing before attending holiday gatherings. He said this new testing option will make it easier for everyone.

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