U.S. health regulators have approved a coronavirus test that will allow people to swab and collect their own sample at home.
The LabCorp test will initially only be available to health care workers and first responders who have a doctor’s order.
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After collecting a sample, the swab will have to be sent back to LabCorp for testing, but it will reduce exposure to other people and help healthcare workers conserve masks and other protective gear.
“For the home test, people are initially screened with an online questionnaire. If authorized by a physician, LabCorp will ship a testing kit to their home. The kit includes cotton swabs, a collection tube, an insulated pouch and box to ship the specimen back to LabCorp. To take a sample, a cotton swab is swirled in each nostril. The test results are posted online to a secure company website,” the Associated Press reports.
Each kit will cost $119, but will not be available in Maryland, New Jersey, New York or Rhode Island — some of the hardest hit states.
The test is “as safe and accurate as sample collection at a doctor’s office, hospital or other testing site,” according to FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn.