It's not easy to book an appointment quickly to get a COVID-19 test, space is limited across the Valley.
The state has performed nearly 12.5 million tests since the pandemic began and nearly 20,000 just Monday alone.
So, a lot of people are turning to home-test kits causing drugstores like Walgreens and CVS to sell out almost as soon as new shipments arrive.
ABC15 Health Insider Dr. Shad Marvasti says the home antigen tests are a good resource to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
He says a PCR test is still the gold standard if you think you have an active case of COVID. That's the nasal swab that you get at the doctor's office, pharmacy, or testing event that has to go to the lab and takes about two days to get a result.
An antigen test looks for a rapid chemical reaction and is where the home test kits come into play.
Dr. Shad says if you're positive, chances are it's accurate. He cautions if you get a negative test result, it's about 70% accurate, so you could still actually be sick. The best practice is to test again in a few days to be sure.
Moving forward, Dr. Shad does think the antigen home kits should be made more widely available and affordable.
"I think one of the strategies of mitigation is serial testing, where you have at-home tests where people can do for kids before going to school, for adults before going to work, in airports some even suggest having those there," said Dr. Shad.
The tests aren't cheap, costing about $25 for two of them.
They're pretty easy to do but the directions are very specific. Many home test brands have been FDA approved.
Not to be confused with testing for active illness, an antibody test is a blood draw that only looks for proteins that show immunity after you recovered from COVID.
Antigen and PCR tests (active illness tests) are not to be confused with an antibody test is a blood draw that only looks for proteins that show immunity after you recovered from COVID.