How do you use a Corona rapid test? (Self test)

At you can easily buy corona rapid tests, which are approved by the RIVM in the Netherlands, but how do you actually use them?

How do you take a Corona self-test?

1. Collection of the sample

  • Insert the cotton swab into one of the nostrils.
  • Gently turn it around, pushing in the cotton swab, leaving less than an inch (2.5 cm) from the nostril (1a).
  • Twist the cotton swab against the mucous membranes in the nostril 5 times to collect enough sample.
  • Using the same cotton swab, repeat this process in the other nostril to ensure that sufficient sample has been taken from both nostrils (1b).
  • Pull the cotton swab back out of the nostril. The sample can now be prepared with the extraction buffer tubes.

2. Treatment of the sample

  • For each sample to be tested, use an extraction buffer tube and label each tube appropriately.
  • Remove the aluminum foil from the top of the tube before collecting buffer (2a).
  • Place the cotton swab in the tube and shake it for about 30 seconds (2b).
  • Then twist the cotton swab at least 5 times and, while doing so, squeeze the sides of the tube. Do not let the contents spurt out of the tube.
  • Pay attention! Failure to squeeze tube may lead to incorrect test results due to excessive amount of buffer in the swab.
  • Remove the cotton swab while squeezing the sides of the tube to extract the liquid from the cotton swab (2c).
  • Attach the cap to the extraction buffer tube with the swab. Mix thoroughly by shaking or tapping the bottom of the tube (2d).

3. Test procedure

  • Attach the dropper to the extraction buffer tube with the swab. Mix thoroughly by shaking or tapping the bottom of the tube.
  • Remove the test cassette from the foil pouch and use it as soon as possible.
  • Place the test cassette on a flat and clean surface.
  • Then add the processed specimen to the sample well away from the test cassette (3a).
    a. Invert the Extraction Buffer tube with the dropper down and hold it vertically.
    b. Gently squeeze the tube. 
  • Wait for the colored line (s) to appear. The result can be read after 15-30 minutes. Pay attention! Do not read the result after 30 minutes. 

4. What does the result of the Corona test say?

  • Positive: Two clearly colored lines appear. One line in the control line section (C) and the other line in the test line section (T). This means that the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 antigen has been detected. *
  • Negative: Only one colored test line appears in the control section (C). No clearly colored line appears in the test line section (T). This means that no SARS-CoV-2 antigen has been detected.
  • Invalid: No control line appears. Insufficient sample volume or incorrect operation are the most common reasons for a failing control line. Check the procedure and repeat the test with a new test cassette.

* Depending on the SARS-COV-2 antigen present in the sample, the color intensity of the test line (T) may differ. Therefore any shade in the test line section (T) should be considered positive.