FDA authorizes Labcorp’s at-home test kit for Covid-19, flu

Pixel received emergency use authorization for an at-home combined Covid-19 and flu test kit. Credit: Labcorp

The Food and Drug Administration gave the green light to Labcorp’s at-home combination test for Covid-19 and influenza A and B. The test kit received an emergency use authorization on Friday for people ages two and up.

Users swab their nose and mail in a sample, getting results back roughly one to two days after the test kit is received. The molecular test was developed by Roche, and first authorized in September of 2020. It’s currently authorized only for people who meet criteria as evaluated by a healthcare provider, including experiencing Covid-19 symptoms or potential exposure to someone with Covid-19.

Labcorp didn’t yet share a price for the test, but its previous at-home test kit for Covid-19 cost $119. It expects to make it available for online ordering in early October.

Of course, Labcorp’s test isn’t the only combination Covid-19/flu test available. At the end of last year, the FDA authorized an at-home test kit through Quest Diagnostics.  Becton Dickinson also has a rapid Covid-19/ flu test that can be used for asymptomatic screening, though it must be administered by a healthcare provider.

Flu cases worldwide dropped off through 2020 and most of 2021, as social distancing, hand washing and mask wearing deterred much of the spread. Currently, laboratory-confirmed flu activity is low, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But it’s difficult to say what the rest of the winter will look like, given kids’ return to school, a return to workplaces for some companies, and increased travel.

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