WhenToTest — For COVID and Flu

At-home combination COVID and flu tests are almost here. WhenToTest is ready to help you use them.

Liz Ruark
WhenToTest homepage

Remember when you used to have to go to a doctor’s office or a testing site to get a COVID test? These days, if you start to feel a sore throat or the sniffles coming on, you can take a test at home and get the results without getting out of your pajamas. Pretty soon, those at-home tests will tell you about more than just COVID — a single test will let you know whether you have the flu, too.

Technically, those tests are already here — one at-home molecular test for both COVID and flu is already on the market. But they’re about to get a lot more common. And WhenToTest.org has been revamped to help you use them.

We’ve divided the site into three simple sections and have revamped the search function so that it’s easier to find what you need. Take a look!

Should I Test?

So, do you need to test or not? If you have symptoms, you already know that you do. But if you’re wondering what COVID and flu are doing in your area, or whether you might have been exposed at that party last week, you can find out in this section of the site.

  • COVID and Flu Risk Quiz: Find out whether you’re likely to have or get either COVID or flu. Check your everyday risk or whether a special event in the past or the future puts you at higher risk of getting infected.

  • COVID and Flu in Your Area: Check the best sites on the web for info on what COVID, flu, and other respiratory viruses are doing around the country and in your neighborhood.

  • Why Testing Matters: Even in a post-pandemic world, there are lots of reasons. And if you have questions about testing and travel, work, or kids, you can find the answers here.

Choosing and Using Tests

Need a test with an app? Maybe one that doesn’t require you to count out drops of liquid, or provides proctoring and telehealth? We got you. We can also answer your questions about how different kinds of tests work, why some tests are labeled slightly differently from others, where to find low-cost or free tests, and more.

Once you’ve picked a test, check this section for info about how to get a good sample, a link to enlargeable instructions, and help on reading your test results. We can also help if you think something may have gone wrong with your test.

I’ve Tested, Now What?

Sometimes taking a test isn’t the end of the process. You might need to retest. (Hint 1: If you have symptoms but test negative for COVID, you’re not done yet!) If you’re at high risk of getting very sick, you need treatment. (Hint 2: The people who are at high risk from COVID aren’t all the same people who are at high risk from flu.)

Your Source for At-Home Test Info

WhenToTest.org is sponsored by the RADx® Tech program at NIH’s National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). Since the early days of the pandemic, RADx has helped US companies create reliable COVID tests so that everyone in the country could get tested whenever they needed it. WhenToTest.org was created to help Americans use those tests and learn how best to stay COVID-safe during the pandemic.

In the post-pandemic era, NIBIB is continuing to help American companies develop the next generation of at-home tests, starting with tests for both COVID and flu. WhenToTest.org is here to help all Americans use these tests. Stay safe and healthy out there, people.

Have questions about combination COVID and flu tests that aren’t answered on WhenToTest.org? Let us know at info@whentotest.org.