Cold temps could affect accuracy of at-home COVID tests

At-home tests should be stored between 36-86 degrees Fahrenheit

Experts are warning people to store their at-home COVID tests at a certain temperature, as cold temperatures could affect the accuracy of the tests.

If you’re one of many who ordered at-home COVID-19 tests from the government, be sure not to leave them in the mailbox too long once they arrive.

Experts are warning people in cold weather states, like those of us in Michigan, that low temperatures could affect the accuracy of the at-home rapid tests.

Related: Free COVID tests: You can now order from US government website

According to officials, at-home COVID-19 tests should be stored between 36 degrees and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Temps in Michigan have been stuck below zero for some time now, and wind chills have kept things even colder in the single digits -- which is certainly below the 36-degree threshold.

Officials say that the COVID tests should still be OK to use if they’ve been left out in the cold, so long as the liquids in the test kit don’t freeze. But users are urged not to store the tests at temperatures below or above the recommended 36-86 degrees for any period of time.

If your at-home test has been in the cold, officials say to let the test warm up to room temperature naturally before actually using it.

It’s also a good idea to avoid storing your at-home tests in an area that is not temperature controlled, like an unheated garage or basement.

Related: How COVID’s omicron variant is impacting restaurants in Michigan

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.