Soon it will be possible to take a COVID-19 test and get results in minutes — all without leaving your house.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the green light to five COVID-19 rapid tests that deliver results in real time at home, including four that will be sold over the counter without a doctor’s prescription.
For months, consumers have been able to purchase test kits that allow them to collect a sample at home and mail it to a lab. But those kits typically cost more than $100, and patients have to wait a few days for the results.
The new at-home coronavirus tests are different because they’re less expensive, more convenient and deliver results on the spot. Even though vaccination has started, public health experts say at-home tests are an important tool for helping slow the virus over the next few months until most Americans have the opportunity to get the vaccine.