First at-home COVID-19 test approved by FDA

The first at-home COVID-19 test has been approved for consumer use. Health experts are calling this test revolutionary in slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

It's just a simple swab and the results are returned all in the comfort and safety of your home. People we spoke to think an at-home coronavirus test will encourage more testing, resulting in a better picture of community spread.

“A lot of people aren’t really able to take time to actually go to sites to get tested,” said Kaitlin Thornton, Orange County resident.

“I think it’s important for people with health problems, who are worried about even leaving their homes,” said Morgan Langrick, Orange County resident.

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“Convenience, more than anything, you don’t have to go somewhere, just stay home,” said Michelle Still, Orange County resident.

They are referring to the at-home Lucira Health test, just approved by the FDA. It’s prescribed by your doctor, you do a simple nose swab, stir it into a sample vial, half an hour later, you have results.

“I think it’s a good idea, as long as they work,” said Bob Stewart, Orange County resident.

That’s what the health industry is applauding, this test’s accuracy. The standard PCR nose test is about 99 percent accurate, the at-home test has an accuracy of 94 to 98 percent.

College student Kaitlin Thornton is confident these tests will help slow the spread of the virus.

“If it’s at home, they’ll instantly know and then they’ll stay home,” said Thornton.

Dr. Todd Husty, EMS Medical Director for Seminole County, is concerned the test will give people a false sense of health.

“A negative test will not tell you ‘I’m good’ no, a negative test says I’m good today and you should be quarantining yourself if you’ve had a real exposure,” said Dr. Husty.

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Because you could be positive just hours after the negative test.

The doctor is also worried about case reporting, which will be up to the patient’s physician.

“Pretty much everyone doing the test right now, are pretty good at reporting but if you ask every single physician’s office to try to do that, stuff is going to fall through the cracks in the floor,” said Dr. Husty.

The at-home test is expected to be available by the spring. It’ll cost about $50.


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