March 30, 2020 - The FDA has authorized a coronavirus test that the manufacturer says can tell if someone is infected with the virus within 5 minutes.
The test is meant to be used in places like a doctor's office, emergency room, or urgent care center. The test will provide results through a platform currently used by many of those locations for tests like flu and strep, instead of sending the throat or nasal swab to a lab for analysis.
The FDA's emergency use authorization (EUA), issued on Friday, does not mean that the FDA has approved the test, but that it is allowing its use because of the coronavirus outbreak.
In a news release, Abbott Diagnostics Scarborough in Illinois said the test can tell if a person has the coronavirus in as little as 5 minutes and tell if someone doesn't have the virus in 13 minutes.
A shortage of tests has hindered efforts to contain the virus in the U.S, which leads the world with more than 100,000 cases of COVID-19. Testing has been focused on priority groups, such as hospitalized patients and health care professionals with symptoms, according to CDC guidelines.
Abbott said it will make the tests available to health care providers next week and work with the government to send the tests to areas where they're most needed.