DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — As COVID-19 cases spike, testing yourself at home can be more convenient than getting a clinic or lab test. But as we learn more about the omicron variant, many are questioning if you should take your COVID tests by swabbing your throat instead of your nostril?
Health officials across the Miami Valley said the answer is no.
“We’re trying to sample cells from the inside of your nose. So you need to go inside and go around in circles so that you’re touching the inside of your nose. That’s what we need for a good sample. We’re looking for the antigen which is a protein and that’s what’s going to trigger that test,” said health commissioner for Clark County Combined Health District, Charles Patterson.
A recent social media trend has people promoting an at-home COVID test technique that includes swabbing the back of the throat. In a statement to 2 NEWS, the FDA said “the FDA advises that COVID-19 tests should be used as authorized, including following their instructions for use regarding obtaining the sample for testing. The FDA has noted safety concerns regarding self-collection of throat swabs, as they are more complicated than nasal swabs – and if used incorrectly, can cause harm to the patient. The CDC recommends that throat swabs be collected by a trained healthcare provider.”
Amid a shortage of self-test kits, it’s also not recommended that you test twice.
“What we don’t want to have happened is the tests become the next toilet paper. We don’t want to have people hoarding those tests and keeping them and just retesting every day and every day. The most appropriate situations are one if you have symptoms, that’s definitely something you need to check out and also if you’re directly exposed to someone who has COVID,” said Dan Suffoletto, Public Information Manager for PHDMC.