The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday announced that is authorizing the first coronavirus test that allows patients to collect samples at home themselves.
The FDA said the emergency authorization would make coronavirus testing easier and smoother by allowing some patients to collect their test samples without having to leave home.
The patients, after using the nasal swab, would then mail the sample to LabCorp, the company that makes the test, to be tested.
“With this action, there is now a convenient and reliable option for patient sample collection from the comfort and safety of their home,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said in a statement.
LabCorp did not provide details on how many of these tests would be made available and on what timeline.
The company said the tests would initially be for health care workers and first responders.
“LabCorp intends to make COVID-19 self-collection kits available to consumers in the coming weeks,” the company added.
Where available, the tests could reduce the demand for protective equipment for health care workers, since the tests do not need a health worker to be administered.
Patients would still need to fill out a questionnaire and get a recommendation from a health care provider to receive the tests.