NORTH SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — With Easter and Passover fast approaching, and COVID-19 cases continuing to climb, doctors are urging us all to celebrate safely with friends and family. One way to do that, take an at-home COVID test before you head to any gathering.

Before testing yourself, make sure you take the test the correct way to get accurate results.

“One of the biggest things you want to take away from it is read the instructions. Every box comes with a set of instructions,” says Kathy Gigantelli, Infection Preventionist/Clinical Informatics RN at Loretto-Pace CNY.

Next, make sure you’re waiting the correct amount of time for your test results.

“Some of them are 10 minute, some of them are a 15 minute wait time and then really comparing it to the instructions for a positive or negative to see exactly what the results are,” says Gigantelli.

Always check the expiration date. If the test is expired, don’t use it.

Gigantelli added, “The manufactures put those dates on there because of the chemicals in there they may definitely have an adverse reaction or negative result.”

When you open the box, make sure the test is not damaged or tampered with. If the at-home test kit comes with two tests, Gigantelli says there’s no need to take both tests.

“I would just recommend taking the one test. It’s not going to typically change whether you take one or two if you’re positive or negative,” says Gigantelli.

In addition to testing yourself, always wash your hands, keep your distance from friends and family, and stay home if you’re sick.