Lucira, a biotech company out of Emeryville, California, has just gotten FDA approval for its first Covid-19 test kit for use at home. The kit is designed to be used after symptoms begin developing, and is expected to prevent people from having to leave their homes and expose others to the virus, or get sicker themselves. The test is a single-use test for $50, and is most effective when testing occurs within 2 to 3 days of symptoms first appearing. The test is performed by administering a single-swab in the nostril. The swab is then tested with a reagent to determine if there is virus present on the swab.
A positive test result can appear within 11 minutes, whereas a negative test result may not appear for up to 30 minutes. The test was tested on 100 participants in order to receive FDA approval. Most patients found the test less invasive than field testing at doctor’s offices and clinics, as the Lucira swab is only inserted into the nostril for about one or one and a half inches. In field tests, Covid-19 test swabs are more invasive and nasopharyngeal in nature, working farther up the nostril and rotating five times. After use, the test can be disposed. It will be available through Sutter Health very soon.