At-home test kits
Please note – test kits are limited and will run out. Please check your local pharmacy for other FDA approved self-test kits. Thank you for helping prevent the spread of COVID-19!
The Carroll County Health Department is offering limited free at-home test kits when available to help people prevent the spread of COVID-19. They are intended for people who may have been exposed to COVID-19, who are having symptoms of COVID-19, or who want to take extra steps to protect vulnerable family and friends they are visiting. They are not for routine employment testing, pre-travel testing, or school quarantine/isolation. Check with your work, school, or travel destination for more information about tests acceptable for these uses.
Appointments to pick up test kits are available on Friday, December 10th, from 9 am – 1 pm. Please complete this form or call 410-876-4848 to register. You may pick up a maximum of 1 kit per person, or 4 kits per household.
Please do NOT show up early for your appointment; once you have registered and received a confirmation email, the kits are reserved in your name and will not be given to someone else. Please drive up to the testing location by the RV in the Health Department parking lot. More kits will be available at various locations in the future as well.
The BinaxNOW test kit is an antigen self-test kit. It is authorized through an EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) issued by the FDA for self-collected anterior nasal swab samples from individuals 15 and older, or adult-collected anterior nasal swab samples from children age 2-14.
A single test is a “snapshot” in time. Each kit has 2 tests, intended to be used by one person for repeated testing. Because antigen tests are less sensitive than some other COVID-19 tests, repeated testing may help identify more individuals who are positive for COVID-19. If you have a limited number of tests, prioritize testing for family members who are not yet vaccinated or who have the highest risk of exposure to COVID-19, and test before you will have close contact with older adults and other people who are vulnerable.
For more information on when testing is recommended, and other types of tests, visit our COVID-19 testing page.
Click here to view a video about how to use the BinaxNOW COVID-19 test. Please note, the newer FDA guidelines advise at least 24 hours but no more than 48 hours between tests.
Please read all testing instructions and be aware of the limitations of testing. No test is 100% accurate and false negatives and false positives may occur. For general information on self-testing, visit the CDC’s self-testing page. Talk to your healthcare provider about testing options and your test results.
If Your Test Result Is Positive
Tell a healthcare provider about your positive test result and stay in contact with them during your illness. If your illness becomes severe, seek medical attention. To avoid spreading the virus to others, follow CDC recommendations. See CDC’s guidance Quarantine and Isolation, which has information for a person who tests positive and has symptoms, and for a person who doesn’t have symptoms.
As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home or place of residence. If possible, you should use a separate bathroom. If you need to be around other people or animals in or outside of the home or place of residence, wear a mask. Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils. Monitor your symptoms. If you have an emergency warning sign (including trouble breathing), seek emergency medical care immediately.
Tell your close contacts that they may have been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. A person with COVID-19 can begin spreading it starting 48 hours (or 2 days) before the person has any symptoms or tests positive. By informing your close contacts they may have been exposed, you are helping to protect everyone.
If you think your positive test result may be incorrect, contact a healthcare provider to determine whether or not additional testing is necessary.
If Your Test Result Is Negative
A negative test result means the virus that causes COVID-19 was not found in your specimen. If you took the test while you had symptoms and followed all instructions carefully, a negative result means your current illness is probably not COVID-19.
However, it is possible for a test to give a negative result in some people who have COVID-19. This is called a false negative. You could also test negative if the specimen was collected too early in your infection. In this case, you could test positive later during your illness.
Some self-tests, such as the BinaxNOW test, are designed to be used in a series. By testing more than once, you might detect COVID-19 more quickly and could reduce the spread of infection.
If your self-test is negative, test again in 24-48 hours. Contact a healthcare provider if you have any questions about your test results or serial testing. You may also use the COVID-19 Viral Testing Tool to help you determine the next steps after testing. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, especially if you have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, you should isolate according to CDC recommendations.
If you think your negative test result may be incorrect, contact a healthcare provider to determine whether or not additional testing is necessary.
If Your Result Shows Invalid or Error
Sometimes test results are inconclusive or not clear on the test device. If the display on the self-test shows an invalid result or a test error, the test did not work properly. If this happens, refer to the instructions for use in the package insert and contact the manufacturer for assistance.
Invalid results can occur for many reasons. Your specimen may not have been collected correctly, or the testing instrument may have malfunctioned. Invalid test results are rare but can occur.
Regardless of your test results, you should always review the results with a healthcare provider. The healthcare provider will consider the test result together with your symptoms and possible exposure in deciding how to care for you.