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Show full transcript for How to test yourself with a lateral flow test kit video
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Many people with COVID-19 have mild or even no symptoms at all so regular self-testing can help in the slowing down of the spread of infections, protecting the most vulnerable and our families and friends.

Self-testing kits give a fast way of taking the test at home or work and the results are ready in about 30 minutes.

Self-test kits are single use and easy to use.  You should not eat or drink for at least 30 minutes before taking your test to avoid the risk of spoiling the results. If you have problems in your vision, it is best to have someone there to help you read the results and if you have problems with your hands you may need someone to help you take the test.

If you have a nose ring, swab the other nostril and if you have one in each nostril, remove the piercing and test this side.

If for any reason you cannot take the throat swab, for example if you have a tracheostomy, swab both nostrils.

First prepare for the test by reading the instructions carefully.  Clean and dry a flat surface where you are placing the test.  Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with soap and warm water or use hand sanitiser to avoid contaminating the test and dry your hands.  If doing more than one test, wash between tests.

Check the contents of the kit.  In the kits they usually contain a test strip, swab inside a sealed wrapper, extraction buffer sachet, extraction tube, extraction tube holder and a plastic waste bag.  The kit we are using is the NHS kit which is available free online in some regions.  Check all items to make sure the packaging is not damaged. If it is damaged, do not use it.

You set up for the test by taking the test strip out of the packaging and placing it on the cleaned flat surface. Once opened the test should be used within 30 minutes.

Carefully twist or snap open the sachet but be careful not to spill the fluid or splash it in your face.

Open the extraction tube and gently squeeze all of the liquid from the sachet into the tube.

Place the filled tube in the extraction tube holder to avoid spilling the liquid.

Gently blow your nose in to a tissue and throw the tissue away in to a bin.

Wash your hands again for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser again.

Pick up the swab and open it only when you are about to take the test and take it out of the packaging.  Do not touch the soft fabric tip of the swab with your hands.

Holding the swab between your fingers, open your mouth wide and rub the fabric tip of the swab over both tonsils or where they would have been four times on each side.  Do not touch your tongue, teeth, cheeks or gums with the swab as this will spoil the sample.

Then put the same swab in one of your nostils until you feel a slight resistance making 10 complete circles. This may feel slightly uncomfortable while you are doing it.

To process the sample, pick up the extraction tube and place the fabric tip of the swab in to the extraction tube so it is in the liquid. Press the tip against the edge of the extraction tube with force while rotating it around the extraction tube for 15 seconds. This allows the sample to be transferred in to the liquid.

Pinch the extraction tube against the swab as you remove it.  Make usre you remove all the liquid from the soft tip of the swab. Put the swab in the plastic waste bag.

Press the cap tightly on the extraction tube to avoid any leaks.

Gently squeeze the extraction tube to place 2 drops of the liquid onto the specimen well on the test strip.  Make sure you are dropping the liquid and not an air bubble. Put the extraction tube in the waste bag along with the swab.

Make sure the test strip is on a flat surface and do not move it during the test.

Give the sample 30 minutes before you read the result.  Waiting 30 minutes is very important.  A positive result can show at anytime after 20 minutes but you must wait the full 30 minutes to show a negative result.

With this type of test, a negative result will show a line against the C or control marking.  A positive result will show a line next to the C and the T. One of these lines may be faint but this is still a positive.

If there is no lines or just a line by the T, this means a void test result and the test has not worked and you will need to retake your test using another test.

There are different types of this test so make sure you read the instructions of the test you have to make sure what you need to do.

Finally, put all the rest of the test in the waste bag, wipe down the surface and wash or sanitise your hands.

With this NHS test you also need to report your results and you can do this online or by phone using the QR code or the product ID number printed on your test strip.