If you need to know whether you have coronavirus but don't want to deal with appointment scheduling and clinic wait times, a self-test can be a convenient solution. But who are self-tests right for? And how do you use them correctly? Coronavirus self-tests -- also known as home tests or over-the-counter tests -- are one of several risk-reduction measures that can protect you and others by reducing the chances of spreading coronavirus, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
These tests can be taken at home or anywhere, regardless of your vaccination status or whether you have symptoms, and are easy to use for quick results, the CDC says. As of November 2021, self-tests detect current coronavirus infections, not antibodies to the virus, according to the CDC. Everyone should have at least two home tests for every family member, said CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and visiting professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.