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Photo: Ink Drop (Shutterstock) Whether you’re waiting for your free at-home COVID-19 tests from the government to arrive in the mail, or you’ve already stocked up and have a few sitting around, you should know that how—and more importantly, where—you store these rapid tests matters. Though there may be some slight variation between the different brands of rapid tests, storing them at temperatures above or below a certain range can make the tests less effective. But this isn’t like taking slightly expired acetaminophen that might not work quite as well as it did when you first bought it: Given their purpose, at-home COVID tests need to be effective. How temperature affects at-home COVID-19 tests In order to produce the most accurate results, at-home COVID-19 tests should be stored at room temperature. Check the instructions that come with the test to get specific details, but generally speaking, “room temperature” ranges between 68 and 74 degrees Fahrenheit. This may sound obvious, and like something you would do anyway, but depending on where you live and how you get the tests, there are a few other temperature-related factors to consider: Hot temperatures Exposure to hot temperatures can permanently damage chemicals and sensitive proteins used in rapid COVID tests, compromising their effectiveness, Dr. Amy Mathers, associate professor of medicine and pathology and associate director of clinical microbiology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, told NBC’s TODAY Show . Cold temperatures At-home COVID tests fare a little better in colder temperatures, Mathers […]