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First in-home COVID-19 testing kit approved by the FDA

Published on 22/04/20 at 11:19am
Photo by CDC

The US Food and Drug Administration have granted emergency clearance to the first in-home COVID-19 testing kit.

The nasal swab kit will be sold by LabCorp and submitted data to the FDA showing that it is as safe and accurate as a sample collection at a hospital or other type of testing site.

With this kit, patients will swab their own nose and mail the sample in an insulated package to LabCorp. It will be available to most consumers in most states.

The company said that it would first make the tests available to healthcare and emergency workers exposed to COVID-19, with the availability to general consumers being made in the coming weeks.

Dr Stephen M. Hahn, the FDA commissioner, said in a statement: “With this action, there is now a convenient and reliable option for patient sample collection from the comfort and safety of their home.”

The kit will cost $119, with consumers having to pay upfront and ask their health insurance provider for a reimbursement. The Trump administration has previously said that tests for COVID-19 would not have to be paid for by the consumer.

LabCorp’s kits could ease the pressure on hospitals and doctor’s officers and reduce the risk of passing the virus onto doctors. This follows other companies like Walmart and CVS that have set up drive-through testing centres in parking lots.

Conor Kavanagh

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