Rapid Antigen at-home COVID-19 Test Kits

How to Interpret Rapid Antigen at home Test Results


A POSITIVE test result means that the virus that causes COVID-19 was detected in your sample and it is very likely you have COVID-19 and are contagious. Please follow the guidelines regarding self-isolation, and SELF-REPORT and upload a copy of your result through the form in in the MyHealth Portal under Messages, then "New Message," and also answer the questions in the “COVID Positive Interview Questions” under the “New Message” option. There is a very small chance that this test can give a positive result that is incorrect (a false positive).


 A NEGATIVE test result is presumptive, meaning it is not certain that you do not have COVID-19. You may still have COVID-19 and you may still be contagious. There is a higher chance of false negative results with antigen tests compared to laboratory-based tests such as PCR.

To increase the chance that the negative result for COVID-19 is accurate, you should: 

  • Test again in 48 hours if you have symptoms on the first day of testing; OR
  • Test 2 more times at least 48 hours apart if you do not have symptoms on the first day of testing.

 If you test negative and continue to experience COVID-19-like symptoms, (e.g., fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath) you should seek follow up care with your healthcare provider. 

If Experiencing Symptoms


Please obtain a COVID-19 test and isolate if positive. If you wish to speak with a Student Health Clinical Nurse.

If you were tested outside campus or with a rapid home test upload your positive results.

(Uploading Instructions)


Please contact your Primary Care Provider or the local Urgent Care Center.

To speak with a COVID Response Team member, please email ucsb-covid19@ucsb.edu and your question will be forwarded to the appropriate person.  




  • The test only reflects your status at the moment the specimen was collected;

  • You may not develop a positive test for up to 14 days after exposure; most new cases show positive results from 2-11 days after exposure, but it can take 14 days or more to turn positive;

  • After an exposure and without symptoms, the ideal time to test is 3-5 days after exposure, but it is recommended you wait at least 2 days before testing to avoid a misleading negative result that might later turn positive;

  • All laboratory results are subject to potential errors from a variety of factors, so please consult with your healthcare provider if the result seems surprising or does not match your situation