FDA has authorized the first diagnostic test for at home collection of patient samples to detect both covid-19 and influenza A and B. The FDA authorized Quest Diagnostics RC Covid-19 +Flu RT-PCR Test for prescription use with the Quest Diagnostics Self-Collection Kit for Covid-19 +Flu by individuals who are suspected of respiratory viral infection consistent with covid-19 when home collection is determined to be appropriate by an individual’s healthcare provider. Under a healthcare provider’s order, patients can collect a sample at home and ship it to a Quest Diagnostics laboratory for analysis following the instructions included with the self-collection kit.
“Today’s authorization for a covid-19 plus flu test using samples collected at home is a significant step toward FDA’s nationwide response to covid-19. With the authorization of this test, the FDA is helping to address the ongoing fight against covid-19 while in the middle of the flu season, which is important for many, including the most vulnerable of Americans. This is another example of the FDA working with test developers to bring important diagnostics to Americans,” says FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, MD. “With just one swab or sample, combination tests that are authorized for use with home-collected samples can be used to get answers to Americans faster, in the comfort and relative safety of their home, which allows patients to continue to quarantine while awaiting results. This efficiency can go a long way to providing timely information for those sick with an unknown respiratory ailment.”