The Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday that it has approved an authorized coronavirus test that you can take at home. Initially, the test will be made available to health care workers and first responders and is expected to go on sale for consumers in most states within weeks.
The test, called the Pixel, is a nasal swab kit developed and sold by LabCorp. Patients will collect their own samples using a special sterile swab provided in the kit and then send it to one of the company’s labs for analysis. The FDA said it granted the company emergency approval to get the tests out quickly.
LabCorp said in tweet, “We received approval from @US_FDA to perform #COVID19 tests using an at-home collection kit. These kits reduce the need of #PPE used by healthcare workers. Initially, kits will be made available to frontline healthcare workers and first responders.”
On their website, the company says, “LabCorp intends to make COVID-19 self-collection kits available to consumers in the coming weeks. Future updates about the self-collection kits can be found on LabCorp’s COVID-19 microsite.” The kits cost $119, but are not available in New York, New Jersey or Maryland (LabCorp’s website doesn’t explain why that is). The FDA notes that you shouldn’t try to replicate the tests at home: “This is not a general authorization for at-home collection of patient samples using other collection swabs, media, or tests, or for tests fully conducted at home.”