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Old 10.05.2021, 15:59
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Free CH Covid At Home Test can show false positives after 20 minutes

Just to inform everyone,

Went to a typical ZH apoteke.

Asked for free bag of 5 covid at home tests provided by the Swiss government program allowed to each person for a 30 day period.

Went home, followed instructions exactly, friend did one, I did another, waited 15 minutes as instructed.

My simplified explanation of results: at the line markers, one line means negative, two lines means positive.

At fifteen minutes: My friend's showed one line. Mine showed one distinct line + one blurry line, at the line markers. Waited 5 more minutes, my "blury" line got darker.

So I immediately took a second test: Showed two, very dark lines, one straight, the other one very dark "blury", both at the line markers.

I immediately walked straight to a PCR test center nearby, asked for a pcr test and showed the intake clerk my at-home tests. He said "after 20 minutes, the results of those at CH free home kits change and are no longer accurate".

Gave me a PCR test and results came back next day as negative.

I am 99% sure the negative PCR test is accurate because both my friend and I have been extreme hermits (I mean extreme, unlike anyone you know). (I don't feel like going into long explanation of why we did at home tests in first place).

Later that day, my friend's kit also started to show a second, albeit more faint, "blury line", at the line markers.

Moral of the story: It was my experience that there was a very narrow window of time where one could view results that the test center deemed as possibly useful. First, you have to wait a number of minutes for the negative/positive lines to form. However, it was my experience that 3 out of 3 of the tests we took changed at 20 minutes and all three started to make it look like (to varying degrees) we were positive when I really, really, really, really, really, really, really have very good and even confirmed reason to believe we were negative.

Hope this is helpful to others in some way,

MakeABigWish
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Old 10.05.2021, 16:03
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Re: Free CH Covid At Home Test can show false positives after 20 minutes

Another Covid thread

It's fully explained and well known that the self tests are not as accurate as other types of test. The test window is also fully explained in the instructions on the test. You did the right thing in getting the positive home test confirmed through a PCR test.
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Old 10.05.2021, 16:33
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Re: Free CH Covid At Home Test can show false positives after 20 minutes

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Another Covid thread

The test window is also fully explained in the instructions on the test.

I looked for and was going to add this to an existing EF test thread but didn't see one on the govt free apoteke at home program.

Also, I thought the "at home tests likely show you as positive" was an important heading to let people glance over and was afraid this would get buried in the generic covid thread.

Looked and didn't see anything about this narrow time window or warning you on what happens after 20 miinutes in instructions.
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Old 10.05.2021, 18:37
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Re: Free CH Covid At Home Test can show false positives after 20 minutes

The instructions I got say that the test is valid within 15 to 30 minutes, and if the control line does not appear in 30 min then the test is considered invalid.

Instructions also say that the test line appearing, no matter how blurry, is an indication of a positive result.

IMO in your case as you described it, the tests clearly showed positive and worked as intended - but then it was a false positive, which I guess just happens.
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Old 10.05.2021, 19:08
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Re: Free CH Covid At Home Test can show false positives after 20 minutes

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The instructions I got say that the test is valid within 15 to 30 minutes, and if the control line does not appear in 30 min then the test is considered invalid.

Instructions also say that the test line appearing, no matter how blurry, is an indication of a positive result.

IMO in your case as you described it, the tests clearly showed positive and worked as intended - but then it was a false positive, which I guess just happens.



Thanks for your thoughts.

Yes, but two in a row at the time and then later the third, were all false positives.
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Old 10.05.2021, 19:17
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Re: Free CH Covid At Home Test can show false positives after 20 minutes

I assume that the test worked the same way (false) with all strips from the same production batch....



I expect that a real positive would be clear and strong....
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Old 10.05.2021, 19:35
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Re: Free CH Covid At Home Test can show false positives after 20 minutes

Have you considered that the PCR test might be a false negative? It's a very real possibility and a reason to remain vigilant in the presence of positive quick tests and/or symptoms.
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Old 10.05.2021, 22:55
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Re: Free CH Covid At Home Test can show false positives after 20 minutes

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I assume that the test worked the same way (false) with all strips from the same production batch....



I expect that a real positive would be clear and strong....

No, Other than the fact that they all gave false positives, they didn't all look the same.
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Old 10.05.2021, 23:00
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Re: Free CH Covid At Home Test can show false positives after 20 minutes

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Have you considered that the PCR test might be a false negative? It's a very real possibility and a reason to remain vigilant in the presence of positive quick tests and/or symptoms.



I address above why I considered and 99% don't think the PCR was a false negative.

Don't have any symptoms. Don't see anyone that I can infect. Religious with mask wearing on rare occasions where I have to go somewhere.

Just wanted to post this so that others had heads up the "over 20 minutes" behavior.
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