WHEELING W.Va. (WTRF) With the news of at home COVID-19 test being shipped to many people across the county, it is vital that we understand how to use them.  

Howard Gamble, the Administrator at the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department said the purpose of these at home tests is to detect if you have COVID-19 early and to prevent additional exposure. 

Understanding which test you are taking and how to do it is extremely important.  

This is a rapid test, so testing for COVID falls into the rapid category or PCR and you also have an antibody test which is very different. Keep in mind that with an at home test kit it is still a process. 

You’re going to take a sample, store it correctly. You are going to add solution. You are going to put it on the device to be able to tell you if you are positive or negative. It’s a generation of test kit that will change in the future.

Howard Gamble, Health Administrator, Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department

Gamble said you should take an at home test if you’re experiencing symptoms.

The most important step is to read the directions with your specific test because the process of some kits may be different than others. 

If done incorrectly it could lead to a false negative. 

Gamble said make sure you have a kit that is FDA approved. He cautioned that if you find a great deal for tests online, most likely they’re not the real deal.