FDA authorizes 15-minute coronavirus test

Federal health officials on Friday approved a coronavirus test that can provide results in less than 15 minutes, using the same technology that powers some rapid flu tests.

Posted: Mar 28, 2020 2:11 PM

(CNN) -- Federal health officials on Friday approved a coronavirus test that can provide results in less than 15 minutes, using the same technology that powers some rapid flu tests.

Teased by Vice President Mike Pence in a Thursday press briefing, the new diagnostic test could accelerate testing in the United States, allowing for rapid results in doctors' offices. But shortages of critical equipment used to collect patient specimens, like masks and swabs, could blunt its impact.

The US Food and Drug Administration authorized the test for emergency use, signaling that federal regulators were satisfied with the test's validation data and believe its benefits outweigh any risks, such as false positives or negatives.

The test's maker, Abbott Laboratories, said it expects to deliver 50,000 tests per day beginning next week. The technology behind the test looks for genes that are present in the virus, similar to PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests already on the market.

The platform used to run the test weighs less than 7 pounds, according to Abbott, and could be deployed "where testing is needed most."

Last week, the FDA authorized another rapid test from molecular diagnostics company Cepheid, which provides results in about 45 minutes. Most laboratory tests for the coronavirus take anywhere from a few hours to days to receive results.

All FDA-authorized tests, however, require samples from patients and health care facilities say they're facing shortages of critical supplies needed to collect specimens.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday issued guidance allowing some patients to collect their own nasal swabs in health care facilities, which could reduce the amount of protective equipment needed for health care workers.

But in some places, like New York City, health officials have said that patients with a coronavirus-like illness should stay home, saying that is "safer for the patients and health care workers" and doesn't change the treatment patients receive.

Scroll for more content...

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 119348

Reported Deaths: 4374
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles582612489
Riverside8155342
San Diego7674276
Orange6678158
San Bernardino5650209
Alameda354897
Santa Clara2832144
San Francisco261343
Kern241840
San Mateo221284
Tulare202690
Imperial202529
Fresno191437
Santa Barbara169714
Contra Costa151338
Sacramento146358
Kings11686
Ventura116434
San Joaquin108035
Stanislaus76730
Monterey58610
Sonoma5794
Solano54722
Marin50617
Merced3107
San Luis Obispo2791
Placer2409
Santa Cruz2192
Yolo21324
Napa1243
Madera1173
Humboldt1034
El Dorado960
San Benito902
Butte551
Nevada481
Del Norte470
Sutter462
Shasta404
Mono371
Yuba311
Mendocino300
Lake300
Inyo201
Glenn170
Mariposa161
Calaveras150
Amador100
Siskiyou90
Colusa70
Tehama61
Lassen50
Plumas40
Tuolumne40
Alpine20
Sierra10
Trinity10
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 100° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 75°
Oroville
Clear
78° wxIcon
Hi: 101° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 79°
Paradise
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 75°
Chester
Scattered Clouds
52° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 52°
Red Bluff
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 100° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 75°
Willows
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 102° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 75°
The Heat Advisory will stay in place through Thursday evening. Cooler temperatures and the potential for showers and thunderstorms are ahead for your weekend.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events