New COVID-19 antigen test delivers results in 15 minutes

At a time when coronavirus test results take between 4 and 14 days, the FDA has granted emergency use authorization to two companies offering antigen testing.

SACRAMENTO, Calif .– A new coronavirus test called the “antigen test” gives users back their results in just 15 minutes, much faster feedback than it takes for normal results to return.

But there are questions with the timeliness of test results, namely its accuracy.

“This test is definitely a step in the right direction because it gives us quick results, assuming it is accurate, which we don’t really know the accuracy of,” said Dr Payal Kohli, a medical expert. from Denver. “It will really change the landscape, because then you can get your result right away and isolate yourself right away.”

The FDA gave two Emergency use authorizations for this new type of test, one at a company called Quidel and another to a company called Beckton, Dickinson and company.

This is called an antigen test, which is another nasal swab that works the same way as a strep throat or flu test at a doctor’s office. The coronavirus antigen test uses a highly portable device, the size of a cell phone, and the results are displayed on the screen within 15 minutes.

“It’s an innovation, it really opens up a whole new world for people, you feel more comfortable,” said Suzan Webb.

Webb lives in El Dorado Hills but travels to the Bay Area every two weeks for work.

When she works there, she stays with her 81-year-old mother-in-law. She wants to get tested before staying with her mother-in-law or coming into contact with other colleagues.

“I think that would be fabulous and probably really alleviate the fears that so many of us have about working and caring for aging parents,” she said.

The test is so new that it is not yet covered by insurance, so it costs around $ 125. But, for Webb, that’s a price she’s happy to pay for peace of mind.

“For me, I would pay it,” she said.

There are no walk-in emergency care clinics in the Sacramento area yet that have the test available at this time, but the owner of Urgent Care Now in the Arden-Arcade and Arden-Arcade areas. Fair Oaks says they’re in the queue to get it from Quidel. in the near future.

Still, Dr Kohli says until the test is confirmed to be accurate, people should approach it with caution.

“I am cautiously optimistic, as they have yet to fully release the performance of the test,” said Dr Kohli. “I don’t want to put my hat on it, because those quick tests at the beginning really burned us out. They gave us the wrong answer more than they gave us the right answer.”


Follow the conversation on Facebook with Lena Howland.



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