Family Healthcast: Getting closer to having at-home coronavirus test kits

Family Healthcast

(WSYR-TV) — We are getting close to a coronavirus test that you can do at home. The Food and Drug Administration has posted new guidelines that could pave the way for millions of people to test themselves.

The guidelines allow companies to develop and market testing kits with tools for people to swab their noses and drop the sample in the mail to any lab in the country.

The FDA acted after it extensively reviewed studies determining the viability of self-collected samples that spent three days in a dry, plastic tube and the accuracy of the testing method.

You would be able to order the test online or buy them at a pharmacy with a doctor’s order. The test could be administered at the first sign of illness, with results available as quickly as 24 hours after the specimen arrives at the lab.

The studies were conducted by UnitedHealth Group, one of the nation’s major insurers, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In a statement, Bill Gates said the new tests would provide a much-needed alternative to the current testing, which is being done by healthcare workers who must frequently change protective gear that remains in short supply.

And if testing is easier, more people will do it so they know if they’re sick and need to isolate themselves, which is more important as more states reopen.

The FDA has now granted emergency authorization for the first at-home saliva collection kit to test for coronavirus. The kit will cost about $100 and must be ordered by a doctor.

It was developed by a laboratory at Rutgers University.

As always, stay home and stay safe.


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