ALL NEWS

Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: The complicated tale of COVID-19 test kits

May 5, 2022, 4:00 PM | Updated: Aug 2, 2022, 12:37 pm
COVID-19 testing kits...
FILE - Health Department worker holds two at-home COVID-19 test kits.

Editor’s note: This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is seeing another Omicron sub-variant resulting in a mini-spike in COVID-19 cases. The outbreak is worst in the east right now, however, it’s heading west. Of course, with most using COVID-19 test kits in the privacy of their homes these days, it’s hard to know for sure. 

I know what you’re saying: why does he have to talk about COVID-19? 

Here’s the data I actually have: 13 people I know in Utah got COVID-19 last week. Some were pretty sick; others not so much. They all took home COVID-19 tests.

Maybe you have a few in the house. But here’s a question: Do they expire? Do home test kits have a shelf life?

Don’t go looking at the back of the box for answers. Like everything else with COVID-19, the answer is complicated.

Looking at the Abbott Labs Binax Now COVID-19 test, there’s a complicated sticker on the back that’s filled with more numbers than a tenth-grade math test. I’m guessing from the numbers, that this test kit was created on November eleventh of last year. It looks like the expiration date was May second of this year. I assume the test kit is no good. Expired.

As it turns out, the FDA let companies stamp the expiration date on the boxes even though they still have no idea how long these kits last.  My Binax test has a six-month shelf life.  But even though the expiration date is right there on the box, it’s just a guess.

Expiration dates are changed as they gather more data. For instance, the Binax test I’m holding: it expired two days ago but digging on the web, I discovered the FDA extended it for another nine months. So it’s still good even though the box says it’s bad. How would you know that you’re supposed to go to FDA.gov?

Like everything with COVID-19, these tests — are complicated.

 

Other Minutes of News:

Listen to Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News every weekday from 3 to 7 p.m. for more of his “My Minute of News.” And check out the podcast below.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

In the golden age of space exploration we live in, cosmic revelations seem to occur more frequently...
Ashley Strickland, CNN

Cosmic seaplanes and self-growing bricks could help us explore other worlds

In the golden age of space exploration we live in, cosmic revelations seem to occur more frequently than ever before.
1 day ago
The Chinese national flag is seen at the entrance to the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing...
By Zachary Cohen, CNN

A look at China’s history of spying in the US

The suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that violated American airspace this week has fueled a diplomatic crisis with the postponement of Secretary of State Antony Blinken's planned trip to Beijing.
1 day ago
Around 3:15 p.m. Saturday, February 4, a 34-year-old female sustained critical injuries after being...
Waverly Golden

AirMed responds to tubing accident in Peter Sinks, Logan

Around 3:15 p.m. Saturday, February 4, a 34-year-old female sustained critical injuries after being struck by a snowmobile.
1 day ago
A balloon flies in the sky over Billings, Montana, U.S. February 1, 2023, in this picture obtained ...
Zachary Cohen, CNN

US military has shot down the Chinese spy balloon off US East Coast, US official says

The US military has shot down the suspected Chinese surveillance balloon over the Atlantic Ocean off the Eastern Seaboard, a US official said Saturday.
1 day ago
The Goonies House...
Taylor Romine and Ralph Ellis, CNN

Man wanted for leaving a dead fish at ‘The Goonies’ house saved by Coast Guard in daring rescue

A man wanted by police in an incident at a house featured in "The Goonies" was the subject of a Coast Guard rescue when he was tossed from a stolen boat as it capsized, authorities said.
1 day ago
SLCPD said the driver is fully cooperating with the investigation and the children received non-lif...
Chandler Holt

SLCPD makes arrest connected to fatal stabbing case

SLCPD announced the arrest of 26-year-old Ivy Chase Grant today. Grant was booked into Salt Lake County Metro Jail on a charge of obstruction of justice. 
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: The complicated tale of COVID-19 test kits