PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The free at-home COVID-19 testing kits sent by the federal government are arriving at local mailboxes.

Each kit has two tests inside and come with detailed instructions.

How to use at-home COVID-19 tests

Before taking the test, first wash your hands. Inside the test kit you will have two of everything, including two tests, but you only use one at a time. There’s also a test card, a vial with chemicals and a swab. 

Open the swab, but don’t touch the soft tip. Place it in one nostril, only about 3/4 of an inch inside, and take 15 seconds to turn it around 5 to 6 times, then do the same in the other nostril.

Next, open the orange cap on the vial and insert the swab. Touch the bottom and stir for 15 seconds. 

Then, squeeze the sides of the vial to make sure you get enough liquid from the swab. Remove the swab, and put the cap back on the vial. Then, twist open the small white cap on the vial, and add 3 drops of your sample into the sample port on the test card. Recap the vial.

Wait 15 minutes. Look on the card, if there are two lines — even if one is faint — it is positive test result.   

Doctors remind people this test is for your nose only — do not try and use them to gather a throat sample — and do not share a swab with someone else.

It’s also important to note the packaging says you have one hour to use the test once you open the sealed packages inside — so read the directions ahead of time.

You can still order a free home test kit if you have not done so already. Four tests are allowed per home address.