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Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn discussed on “Fox & Friends” how the first diagnostic test with a home collection option for COVID-19 works, calling it “a really great development.”
Hahn, a White House Coronavirus Task Force member, said on Wednesday that the availability of the at-home test is “another example of the partnership between the federal government and lab developers across the country.”
In a statement released Tuesday, the FDA said that it had issued an emergency-use authorization for LabCorp to do COVID-19 RT-PCR testing of samples self-collected by patients at home using LabCorp's Pixel home collection kit.
Coronavirus testing has been in the spotlight as America fights to contain the outbreak.
“What this does is, it allows for home self-collection under certain conditions,” he continued. “LabCorp is the company that developed this. The data shows us that this test is accurate and that this can be safely done at home.”
Hahn said that LabCorp is going to initially focus on health care workers and first responders “and then expand it to others.”
“If a first-line health care worker or first responders has symptoms related to the disease, that is consistent with the CDC guidelines of who should be tested, they can go to the LabCorp website, fill out a questionnaire [and] that questionnaire is immediately reviewed by a healthcare professional. In this case, it's a licensed physician who then allows that test to be sent out,” Hahn explained.
He then described what the “quick and easy” process entails, explaining that the “person at home does the swab in the nose, puts it in a tube of salt water and then overnights it back to the lab for those results.”
Hahn said once the lab receives the tube, the test is performed and then the results are disseminated to health care professionals.
He noted that the new test provides “less risk to health care professionals because they don't have to be the ones putting the swab in the person's nose.”
Hahn added that “we’re going to see more of this [at-home tests] as we move forward.”
Host Brian Kilmeade asked Hahn what people should do if they think they were exposed to the novel coronavirus, but don’t have any symptoms.
“What I would recommend is that the questionnaire be filled out by someone who’s concerned that they might be exposed … and that will be reviewed by the healthcare professional,” Hahn said in response.
“Always in the situation where someone has been exposed, they should contact a health care professional or a state public health laboratory or a health official to actually report that, so that the appropriate measures can be taken including testing,” he went on to say.
Fox News James Rogers contributed to this report.