COVID-19 Rapid Tests

Rapid Tests for COVID-19 give results in 15 minutes 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 "self tests," “home tests,” “at-home tests,” or “over-the-counter (OTC) tests.”
  • They give your result in a 15 minutes and are different from laboratory-based tests that may take days to return your result.
  • Self-tests along with vaccination and other prevention steps reduce 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.

iHealth expiration dates extended three months

The expiration dates on the iHealth rapid COVID-19 tests distributed by El Paso County Public Health were extended by the FDA by three months from what is printed on the box.


Call (719) 578-3220 for questions about rapid tests.

Para preguntas comuníquese a: (719) 578-3220

When to take a rapid test

Test yourself if...Timing
You have any COVID-19 symptomsImmediately
You were exposed to someone with COVID-19At least 5 days after your exposure
If you test negative for COVID-19, consider testing again 1 to 2 days after your first test
You are going to an indoor event or a gathering
Immediately before the gathering, or as close to the time of the event as possible
This is especially important before gathering with individuals at risk of severe diseaseolder adults, those who are immunocompromised, or people who are not up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines, including children who cannot get vaccinated yet.

How to use a rapid COVID-19 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.

What your test result means



  • The test did not detect the virus, but doesn’t rule out an infection.
  • You may require additional testing. You should get a laboratory-based PCR test if you have symptoms of COVID-19 but tested negative on the antigen test because antigen tests may miss some positive cases. Find a free PCR testing site through El Paso County Public Health.