(axios.com) – Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn said Wednesday that stay at-home coronavirus tests will help states increase their testing capabilities.
Why it matters: Increasing daily tests is a key requirement that states must reach before they can safely relax coronavirus lockdowns.
Driving the news: The Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday that it granted emergency authorization for LabCorp’s first at-home coronavirus test, CBS News reports.
- The test is a nasal swab kit and will cost $119, though buyers must complete an eligibility survey before receiving one.
- It will not be available in New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Rhode Island because they have regulations against people initiating their own tests, according to CBS.
What they’re saying: Hahn told CBS that health care workers and first responders will have first access to the test when it goes on sale.
- Hahn added that the test is as effective as those administered in a doctor’s office.
- “With this action, there is now a convenient and reliable option for patient sample collection from the comfort and safety of their home,” he said in a statement.
The big picture: The United States had conducted more than 4 million tests as of Wednesday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
- The country has tested an average of 146,000 people per day so far in April, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
- Harvard University researchers suggest that the U.S. cannot reopen its economy unless it triples the number of daily tests, the New York Times reports.