NORTH CAROLINA — North Carolina-based LabCorp has announced it has received emergency authorization from the FDA for COVID-19 tests you can use at home.
The swab tests will initially be for front line healthcare workers and first responders. Then, in the coming weeks, the self-collection kits will be available to everyone.
Called Pixel, the test will cost $119.
The kits will be offered through the company’s Pixel by LabCorp platform. The test will include collection of specimens via nasal swabs.
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“LabCorp continues to develop new ways to help patients and healthcare providers fight the COVID-19 crisis through our leading testing capabilities and deep scientific and research expertise,” Adam Schechter, president and CEO of LabCorp said. “Our at-home collection kits are designed to make it easier and safer to test healthcare workers and first responders during this important time.”
By having individuals self-test it will help prevent the spread of coronavirus and reduce the demand for personal protective equipment as the tests do not require a healthcare worker to perform the test.
Officials said the emergency authorization allows the tests to be used at home if it has been recommended by a healthcare provider and you have completed a COVID-19 questionnaire.
It is important to note -- the emergency authorization means it is only meant to detect COVID-19 and can only be used during the State of Emergency.
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Here’s how the test procedure works:
1. Complete a short eligibility survey
2. If you’re eligible*, purchase your kit
*Test requests are evaluated and, if appropriate, authorized by an independent physician.
3. Receive your sample collection kit via FedEx
4. Collect your sample and send it back to our world-class lab for testing
5. Access your results online
More testing of people for COVID-19 has been cited as a requirement for the speeding up of a reopening for the US economy.
FDA approval came through an emergency use authorization. LabCorp has been ramping up efforts over the past several weeks to deal with the pandemic after rolling out its own test in early March.
The first kits will go to healthcare workers and first responders who have been exposed to the virus or may be symptomatic, the Burlington-based company said.
Tests for consumers are promised “in the coming weeks.”
WHAT WILL MY RESULTS TELL ME?
Your test results will confirm whether or not you are infected with SARS-CoV-2. If your results are positive, it is important to limit your exposure to other people and continue to monitor your symptoms. If your results are negative, the virus was not present in the sample you provided. However, it is important to note that the virus may not be detected by the test in early stages of infection. Furthermore, the virus may not be detected if the sample is not collected as directed. If you have reason to believe you have been exposed, it is important to follow up with a healthcare provider for further evaluation or to get re-tested.
After receiving your results, you will have the opportunity to speak with a licensed physician who can answer any questions you may have about your test results and help determine next steps in care.
In addition, LabCorp had expanded its availability of antibody tests to hospitals, healthcare organizations and patient service centers.
These serological tests are intended for those who may have had symptoms, but are no longer symptomatic. According to LabCorp, the tests can confirm the presence of antibodies to the virus and can help identify people who have been exposed to it.
LabCorp started offering the tests on a limited basis in late March, but over the coming weeks, it plans to make the tests more widely available.
The company said by mid-May, they expect to be able to perform “several hundred thousand tests per week as more tests and testing platforms receive FDA Emergency Use Authorization.”
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