COVID-19 Antigen Testing

Extended Expiration Dates

The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized expiration extensions for antigen test kits. Test kits picked up from one of the campus locations expire 10 months from the date on the test box. For more information, visit the FDA page

Rapid antigen tests can be a helpful tool to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Antigen tests detect the presence of a specific viral antigen, which implies current viral infection.  

  • Most accurate when an individual is most contagious 
  • Not as sensitive as PCR tests, which can detect lower viral loads, so antigen tests are prone to false negatives.

When to Use an Antigen Test

  • To check your health:
    • If you are experiencing symptoms of illness.
    • Before a gathering or before visiting with high-risk individuals. Test as close to the event as possible.
    • After attending a gathering or other higher-risk activity such as travel or being in close contact with others from outside your household. Wait until at least five days after the event to test.
  • To fulfill some travel testing requirements. If an individual program, department, destination, or travel method has specific travel testing requirements, students, faculty, and staff should adhere to those requirements in addition to or instead of an antigen test. Note that a proctored test likely will be required to meet these requirements.
  • To test after exposure. Rapid tests are an option for students, faculty, and staff who need to test after exposure when directed to do so.
  • To determine if you can end masking early. If you have COVID and have gone through isolation, you can test (view CDC isolation guidelines) starting on day 6 to determine if you can discontinue masking before day 10.

How to Interpret Test Results 

Where to Get Antigen Tests 

  • The University has limited supplies of BinaxNOW rapid antigen tests for students, faculty and staff. As the state-level program through which we obtained free test kits has ended, the university will not be restocking once these are gone. Test kits may still be available at the following locations:
    • Athens campus
      • Grosvenor Hall: If you're attending a conference or completing research/creative activity and need multiple tests for your travel needs, request here. You will receive instructions on where and when to pick up the tests when completing the request
    • Regional and extension campuses
      • Chillicothe: Information Desk, Bennett Hall, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
        Contact: Ann Holmes,, 740-774-7222 
      • Eastern: Kits are available in the Dean's Office, Shannon Hall, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 
        Contact: Pam Saffell,, 740-699-2494 
      • Lancaster: Kits are available in the North Lobby Information Desk, Brasee Hall, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
        Contact: Cindy Mayle,, 740-681-3302 
      • Southern: Kits are available in the Student Services Office, Collins Center, from 8 am to 5 pm 
        Contact: Tina Canter,, 740-533-4611 
      • Zanesville: Kits are available in the Student Services Office, Elson Hall, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  
        Contact: Gail Hayes,, 740-588-1434
      • Cleveland: Kits are available in the OU HCOM Cleveland reception area, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
        Primary Contact: Michael See,, 216-295-7516 (please use secondary contact below if you receive an out of office message)
        Secondary Contact: Cleveland IT, 216-295-7905 
      • Dublin Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine: Kits are available in the Dean’s Suite of Medical Education Building 1 (MEB1-350), Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m
        Contact: Brian Thompson,, 614-793-5558 
      • Dublin Integrated Education Center: Contact Melody Lynch to request a kit and arrange a pickup in DEIC 230. 
        Contact: Melody Lynch,, 614-793-5634 
  • Pharmacies and other retailers, both in-store and online. 
  • OHIO faculty and staff who are enrolled in the University’s PPO plans: COVID tests conducted at a physician’s office or clinic under the direction of a physician will continue to be covered by Anthem and are subject to the health insurance plan annual deductible and co-insurance. Office visit copays may apply. More information is available on the Human Resources website.
  • The federal government has relaunched its program to provide free at-home COVID antigen test kits. Starting September 25, 2023, US households can order four free tests from
  • Individuals covered by Medicaid and Medicare also can get tests for free.