FDA allows 1st rapid virus test that gives results at home
The FDA has approved the first at-home rapid test for COVID-19.
By the spring, customers can get a prescription for Lucira Health's test. After a nose swab, results become available in 30 minutes without visiting a doctor’s office.
Infectious disease expert Dr. Rajanish Bobde, of St. John's Riverside Hospital in Yonkers, says the test is more reliable, easy to use and affordable at $50.
Federal regulators have also authorized the test for hospitals, emergency rooms and urgent care use to reduce the strain on those facilities. Dr. Bobde is still warning people with COVID-19 symptoms to isolate and seek medical treatment.
To date, the agency has authorized nearly 300 tests for coronavirus. The vast majority require a nasal swab performed by a health professional and must be processed at laboratories using high-tech testing equipment. A handful allow people to collect their own sample at home - a nasal swab or saliva - that's then shipped to a lab, which usually means waiting days for results.
Health experts have for months called for options to allow people to test themselves at home, reducing turnaround times and the potential spread of the virus to health care workers.
AP wires were used in this report.