As the world works at finding ways to minimize the spread of the coronavirus, many international governments have stressed the importance of more tests. These tests help identify who's infected and which next steps to take, typically these are self-isolation and informing the people they've been in close contact with.
Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first home-testing coronavirus kit, which can be collected at your front door.
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A new COVID-19 home diagnostic test
On Tuesday, the FDA approved its first COVID-19 home diagnostic testing kit, which includes a home pick up option.
The kit was developed by the Laboratory Corporation of America, or LabCorp, a health care diagnostics company.
"Throughout this pandemic, we have been facilitating test development to ensure patients access to accurate diagnostics, which includes supporting the development of reliable and accurate at-home sample collection options," said FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn.
We received approval from @US_FDA to perform #COVID19 tests using an at-home collection kit. These kits reduce the need of #PPE used by healthcare workers. Initially, kits will be made available to frontline healthcare workers and first responders. https://t.co/X4XQmHDxRNpic.twitter.com/vKsKucclif— LabCorp (@LabCorp) April 21, 2020
Hahn continued "The FDA’s around-the-clock work since this outbreak began has resulted in the authorization of more than 50 diagnostic tests and engagement with over 350 test developers. Specifically, for tests that include home sample collection, 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 another testing site. With this action, there is now a convenient and reliable option for patient sample collection from the comfort and safety of their home."
The test involves a self-collected nasal swab, the sample is then sent back to LabCorp's labs in an insulated package for testing. These nasal swabs are specific Q-tip-style cotton swabs, and the FDA stresses that regular cotton swabs or Q-tips should not be used at this time for this testing.
Initially, the kits will be sent to medical caregivers and frontline workers, and in the coming weeks will be sent to regular consumers in most states, following a doctor's order.
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