AUSTIN (KXAN) — With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicting a COVID-19 wave at the end of summer and the start of school in Texas, at-home tests will be many people’s first point of detecting infection.

The last government-provided tests arrived at homes in June. How long do they last?

Madison Taff, a pharmacy resident at Tarrytown Pharmacy, said that the date printed on a test’s packaging may not be accurate.

“A lot of companies are extending the expiration date on the older test,” Taff said. “They typically last anywhere from a year, to a year and a half.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a webpage that catalogs at-home tests. Users can search for the maker of a test, then click the link “Extended Expiration Date” for a PDF with new dates.

A Flowflex at-home COVID-19 test, with a pouch labeled as expired on February 2023. Its lot number (top right corner of the box) is COV 2020006, which has been extended to February 2024. (KXAN Photos/Cora Neas)

Taff said that stocks of at-home tests remain high at Tarrytown and other pharmacies in the Austin area.

“I don’t think that people need to stock up on tests just yet. But maybe if you see one just grab it so you can be prepared later in case there is another surge,” Taff said.

If someone tests positive for COVID-19, Taff reminds them to isolate for at least five days and feel better before returning to work or social settings.