When to use a Self-Test


Self-tests for COVID-19 give rapid results and can be taken anywhere, regardless of your vaccination status or whether or not you have symptoms.

  • They detect current infection and are sometimes also called "home tests," "at-home tests," or "over-the-counter (OTC) tests."
  • They give your result in a few minutes and are different from laboratory-based tests that may take days to return your result.
  • Self-tests along with vaccination, wearing a well-fitted mask, and physical distancing, help protect yourself and others by reducing the chances of spreading COVID-19.
  • Self-tests do not detect antibodies which would suggest a previous infection and they do not measure your level of immunity.

Where To Get a Self-Test

Find a COVID-19 testing site near you by searching Colorado’s COVID-19 Testing Website or by calling your local LAHCDHD office.

Las Animas County: 719-846-2213
412 Benedicta Ave, Trindad CO 81082
Huerfano County: 719-738-2650
119 E 5th Street, Walsenburg CO 81089

Most people with a health plan can get an at-home over-the-counter COVID-19 test online or from a retail store. As long as the test kit is authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), many insurance plans will cover the cost or reimburse you.

In addition, Health First Colorado and Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) will pay for at-home COVID-19 tests for members. You can get free at-home tests only at pharmacies that serve Health First Colorado and CHP+ members.


How to Use a Self-Test

Read the complete manufacturer’s instructions for use before using the test.

  • To use an at-home test, you will collect a nasal specimen and then test that specimen.
  • If you do not follow the manufacturer’s instructions, your test result may be incorrect.
  • Wash your hands before and after you collect a nasal specimen for your test.

Using Your Self Test Kit Graphic