AUSTIN (KXAN) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized the first at-home diagnostic test for COVID-19. The test, produced by LabCorp, is called Pixel and costs $119.
The kit contains a nasal swab the patient uses to collect a sample and send back to a lab for results. LabCorp says the sample will tell if you are infected with COVID-19, but it does not detect antibodies or immunity.
The option of testing for the virus at home is something medical expert Dr. Dan O’Brien says is needed.
“It’s just so crucial that it is done the right way in regards to testing, considering how many people are actually going to be tested,” Dr. O’Brien said.
With Governor Greg Abbott allowing businesses to slowly reopen in phases, Dr. O’Brien says the at-home test could create confidence and a better understanding of the virus.
“If by chance the test came back negative, they would feel good about interacting again in the community, or if it came back positive they would really realize…maybe I need to take some additional steps to make sure that I’m social distancing,” Dr. O’Brien said.
Pixel by LabCorp is prioritizing at-home test kits for healthcare workers and first responders with plans to make the kits more broadly available soon