Thank you for taking home a free COVID-19 test kit from a Delaware Library*

This page will help you read your COVID-19 test kit results accurately.

Delaware Division of Libraries Logo
COVID-19 antigen tests are designed for quickly diagnosing active infection by detecting a protein antigen of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the virus that causes COVID-19.)
*Test kits may not be resold.
 
COVID test
Tests are self-administered at home using a simple shallow nasal swab. After specimen collection, rapid antigen tests take approximately 15 minutes to show a result.

Testing is most accurate when there is a higher chance you have COVID-19 (e.g. you live in an area with high numbers of cases, are showing symptoms, etc.).  In addition, antigen tests are more likely to detect a true positive early in infection, when there are greater amounts of the virus in your system. Antigen tests are generally less sensitive than molecular tests, and because of this, false negative test results are possible. That’s why DPH has provided these guidelines for what you should do next based on your test result.

 

Who Should Take an Antigen Test?

  • People who have symptoms of COVID-19, especially within seven days of symptom onset. Please do not go to the library to obtain a test if you are symptomatic.

Visit de.gov/gettested for a list of sites near you or contact your medical provider instead.

  • A close contact of someone with known or suspected COVID-19, who has no symptoms. Take the test as soon as you find out you are a close contact. If negative, do it again at 5-7 days after you last had contact with the person who has COVID-19 – or immediately if symptoms develop.
    • Close contacts who do not have symptoms AND who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 do not need to get tested or quarantine after close contact exposure (exceptions for certain groups of fully vaccinated people to continue testing).
  • People who have no symptoms and participated in higher-risk activities in which they could not physically distance as needed (e.g., travel, attending large social or mass gatherings, or being in crowded indoor settings).
  • People who have no symptoms but are concerned and want a quick result (ie: before going to visit immunocompromised family). This screening for disease may allow for earlier detection of COVID-19 so that prompt public health intervention can be taken.
  • People with no symptoms who use antigen testing frequently to detect possible asymptomatic infection.

Evaluating Your Antigen Test Results

The table below summarizes the interpretation of antigen test results. Note: this table does not apply to nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, or other congregate living settings.

Test Result

Person being Tested

 

Symptomatic Person

 

 Asymptomatic (no symptoms) Person with Close Contact# to a known COVID-19 case  Asymptomatic (no symptoms) Person without Close Contact# to a known COVID-19 case

Positive

 
•   Means there is a current infection
• Stay home (isolate) for at least At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, and 24 hours after symptoms go away (fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medications and symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved.
 
•   Means there is a current infection

• Stay home (isolate) for at least At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, and 24 hours after symptoms go away (means fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medications and symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved.

 
•   Presumes there is current infection

•   Immediately isolate at home

•   Confirm positive result with a PCR test (visit de.gov/gettested for testing options)

•   Stay home (isolate) for at least At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, and 24 hours after symptoms go away (means fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medications and symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved.

Negative

 
•   Means no antigens were detected

•   Confirm negative result with a PCR test (visit de.gov/gettested for testing options)

•   Isolate while awaiting confirmatory test result

 
•   Means no antigens were detected

• Unvaccinated close contacts who test negative must still quarantine (stay home for 14 days)

•   Get COVID-19 PCR test if you develop symptoms

 
•   Means no antigens were detected

•   No additional case follow-up necessary

•   If unvaccinated, continue to wear a face mask and social distance from others

Close contact is defined as being within six feet of someone known to have COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or longer over a 24-hour period, or having exposure to respiratory secretions from an infected person (e.g., being coughed or sneezed on, sharing a drinking glass or utensils, kissing), starting from two days before the person became sick (or two days before specimen collection if asymptomatic) until the person was isolated.

*A positive antigen test result in an asymptomatic, unexposed individual should be immediately followed by a PCR test to verify the positive result.  This follow-up specimen should be collected within 24 hours of the original test, if possible, and no more than 48 hours after the antigen test. Specimens collected more than 48 hours after the initial test may lead to discordant results.  If the confirmatory PCR is negative on an appropriate specimen collected in the proper time frame, and the individual has remained asymptomatic, the antigen test would be considered a false positive and the individual not counted as a COVID-19 case.
 

What to do if you have a Positive Antigen Test Result

If you receive a positive test result you are asked to report it to DPH within 24 hours. Call 302-446-4262 or 1-844-611-3231.

Calendar and clock

Get More COVID Data

For more data on Delaware COVID cases, testing and outcomes, including demographic breakdowns, go to My Healthy Community