PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Free COVID-19 testing kits distributed by the US government have started to reach customers and are raising a new question – will it harm the tests if they sit in the mailbox while it’s freezing cold?
A key factor in answering that question lies in how long the kit is in the mailbox, as well as how cold it is, as most kits say in the instructions that the product should not be frozen.
The good news is that inside the mailboxes, the test kits were not exposed to the wind, but temperatures were much lower than the manufacturer’s recommended temperature range.
Dr Amesh Adalja says he is not worried about the test kits freezing while in the mailbox.
Dr Adalja said: “I don’t think it will make much of a difference in the accuracy of the tests.
Some companies hinted that freezing could affect test results, but most just said to let the kit come to room temperature before use.
“In general, if it’s cold, you can keep it indoors for a few hours and then use it, but I don’t know of any data to say it won’t work in those colder temperatures,” Dr. . Adalja said.
In addition to the free COVID-19 test kits, free N95 masks are also being offered. How long should they be used before being discarded?
Adalja says that in a healthcare setting, masks are designed for single use — but the CDC acknowledges that people can use one for up to five days without concern.
“I think as long as they don’t get dirty and as long as you feel it’s still snug, it should do what it’s designed to do,” says Dr. Adajla.
https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2022/01/27/the-impacts-of-freezing-temperatures-bitter-blast-of-cold-air-on-at-home-covid-19-testing-kits/ Impact of freezing temperatures, a bitter blast of cold air on home COVID-19 testing kits – CBS Pittsburgh