6 Facts You Need to Know About the New At-Home Coronavirus Test
The FDA just approved LabCorp's Pixel, an at-home COVID-19 test. Here's what you need to know about it.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved broad use of a COVID-19 at-home test this week. This new and rare emergency use authorization from the FDA was given to a company called LabCorp for a new product called Pixel. The home coronavirus test kits will help more people determine if they have the deadly COVID-19 contagion, without endangering the lives of the medical professionals previously needed to perform testing.
"Enabling individuals to self-administer sample collection will help prevent the risk of transmitting the virus to others and will reduce the demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) as the tests do not require a clinician to perform the test collection," the LabCorp website explains.
Want to learn more about how you can get one and how much it costs? Here are six fast facts about this new self-test.
The test will first go out to health care workers and first responders.
Doctors, nurses, administrators, and first responders who are dealing with coronavirus patients are at the highest risk of getting the COVID-19 contagion. In LabCorp's announcement, they revealed that the home-testing kit would first go to those on the front lines:
Initially, the COVID-19 self-collection kits will be made available to healthcare workers and first responders who may have been exposed to the virus or may have coronavirus symptoms, which is consistent with prioritization guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Keeping health care workers and first responders healthy is a critical component to "flattening the curve" of coronavirus cases across the nation. And for more on life on the front lines, check out 10 Doctors and Nurses Reveal What It's Like Fighting COVID-19 Every Day.
You have to complete an online screening to get the test.
Once the home testing kit is more widely available, you'll be able to purchase your own COVID-19 kit online after completing a short health screening survey that determines your likelihood of contracting the virus. And to learn about what puts you at risk of getting COVID-19, check out 15 Seemingly Innocuous Habits That Increase Coronavirus Risk.
The kit costs $119.
According to the LabCorp site, the at-home kit to collect your sample and ship it back to the company's lab costs $119. "Our price includes the materials in your kit, two-way overnight shipping, physician services from PWNHealth, and the testing of your sample in our world-class lab," the website reads.
The at-home COVID-19 test is a nasal swab.
The self-collection kit includes everything you need to collect your sample, along with easy to understand instructions. The self-test is a nasal swab, but LabCorp includes a nasal sample collection video so users can learn how to do the at-home test properly. And for more on the struggles with coronavirus testing, hear from these 10 People Who Tried to Get Tested for COVID-19 and Were Turned Away.
And you'll send it back via FedEx
After your sample is collected, you'll send it back to LabCorp in a pre-paid FedEx package provided in the kit. "Samples must be dropped in a FedEx drop box BEFORE the last pickup of the day," LabCorp says.
You'll be able to see your test results online.
According to LabCorp, you'll learn the results of your COVID-19 test are ready via email notification. Then, "you can access them online in your secure Pixel by LabCorp account," LabCorp says. "After receiving your COVID-19 results, you have the opportunity to talk to a licensed physician who can answer questions you may have about your results." And to learn more about testing options, check out Here's How to Find COVID-19 Testing Options Near You.