Doctors advise keeping COVID tests out of cold weather over prolonged times

COVID tests
Posted at 5:58 PM, Jan 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-27 19:54:32-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — At-home COVID tests from the federal government are arriving in mailboxes, but doctors are warning people there's an important step you need to take to ensure the accuracy of the test. In these winter weeks, Dr. Aima Ahonkhai of Vanderbilt said you don't want those tests waiting outside in the cold for too long.

"We don't want the test to freeze or get so hot the proteins in them get destroyed," she said, advising for the tests to stay at room temperature.

What helps is the home delivery of the COVID tests comes with an email when you receive them.

Dr. Ahonkhai added her concern isn't for a test being in the cold for a little while before you get home from work. She said she's more worried about the test being stored in a more long-term situation.

"Even if you're picking a test from the drug store, don't leave them in your cold car overnight," she said.

As part of that long-term storage, she said to avoid storing the tests in a place like a garage where it could get too cold.