First At-Home Virus Test Is Cleared by the FDA

Kit from LabCorp will be made available first to health care workers and first responders
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2020 11:30 AM CDT
First At-Home Virus Test Is Cleared by the FDA
President Trump holds swabs as he speaks during a coronavirus briefing at the White House April 19. The at-home tests will use a shorter Q-Tip-style swab, not the longer one.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

This could help the backlog of coronavirus testing—eventually. The FDA on Tuesday approved the first at-home test, reports STAT News. But most people will have to wait a while to get one of the kits made by LabCorp. The first ones will be made available only to heath care workers and first responders—and only if a doctor approves, per the AP. No word on when the $119 tests might be available to the general public. Those who get the tests will swirl a Q-Tip-style swab (not the longer swabs) in each nostril to collect a sample.

"We worked with LabCorp to ensure the data demonstrated from at-home patient sample collection is as safe and accurate as sample collection at a doctor’s office, hospital or other testing site,” said FDA chief Stephan Hahn in a statement. Despite some earlier confusion over other companies saying their at-home tests had been cleared by government regulators, the LabCorp kits are now the only ones with that approval. (More coronavirus stories.)

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