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Max Minute: Inexpensive, Fast Coronavirus Test Given Emergency Use Authorization By FDA

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A new, inexpensive coronavirus test has just been given emergency use authorization by the FDA.

Most public health experts agree that fast, widespread and affordable coronavirus testing is essential to bring the pandemic under control. That's why numerous companies and labs have developed nasal swab tests, blood tests, even saliva tests for COVID-19.

But most of these tests are either expensive, take a long time to get results back or are not widely available. That may be about to change.


The newly authorized rapid test is made by Abbott and is called BinaxNOW. It's a little larger than a credit card and uses technology similar to a home pregnancy test, although this will only be available as a point-of-care test -- doctor's offices, urgent care centers, ERs and the like.

BinaxNOW is a newly authorized rapid coronavirus test made by Abbott. (Credit: CBS2)

It still requires a nasal swab, but not as deep a swab as with previous COVID tests, CBS2's Dr. Max Gomez reports. The results come back in 15 minutes and better yet, the cost is just $5.

Abbott is also releasing a free smartphone app that will allow people who test negative to display a temporary digital health pass that is renewed each time a person is tested through their health care provider together with the date of the test result.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

This FDA emergency use authorization is only a temporary permission to use until the agency can conduct a full review of the test.

In a statement Thursday, the White House said the Trump administration had partnered with Abbott to produce the BinaxNOW tests.

The Trump administration purchased 150 million rpaid tests to be distributed across the country.

Abbott says it can begin shipping 10 million of the tests within the month.

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