RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – As the coronavirus continues to spread, health officials say more testing will be a key component towards helping to get the virus under control
A new rapid-result test kit that’s just been put on the market may help do that.
“If those front line workers get knocked out by the virus, whose up next to take care of us when we need care?” asked Dr. Robert Morgan, the chief medical officer of Let’s Get Checked.
With testing kits in short supply and the results from many of them taking days of lab analysis, something needed to be done.
Let’s Get Checked came up with a rapid-response test kit that helps relieve pressure on over-stretched hospital screening services.
Consumer investigator Steve Sbraccia wanted to know – what makes this test different?
Morgan said, “our kits contain two separate testing components.”
One part of the test uses a drop of blood goes on the strip.
That will give a rapid result, usually in 15 or 20 minutes to show whether there is the presence or absence of antibodies.
The second part of the test is what helps relieve pressure on hospital or public labs.
A swab of oral or nasal fluid goes into a shipping container the company includes and it’s overnighted to its own lab.
Morgan said, “once it hits our own lab, we can turn results around in 48 hours or less.”
Once the test hit the market, the company ramped up production.
It’s producing tens of thousands of kits each day and hopes to get to hundreds of thousands in the near future.
Morgan said Lets Get Checked would like to eventually have those kits available to the general public for in-home testing, but said right now, “we want to prioritize sending them to the front line workers.”
Currently the test must also be administered under the guidance of a health care worker, but Let’s Get Checked says its applied to the FDA for an emergency waiver to allow anyone to conduct those tests at home.
However, it’s unknown how quickly the FDA will move on that request.