LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. — A Lee’s Summit laboratory is mailing COVID-19 test kits directly to people’s homes.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to Viracor for an at-home collection kit that will test for COVID-19.
People can fill out an application online and receive the PCR test within two days. The goal, according to Viracor President Michelle Altrich, is to get results back to the patient within 24 to 48 hours after the sample has been sent to the Lee’s Summit lab.
“This puts one more tool in our tool kit in continuing to fight the pandemic,” Altrich said.
Viracor’s test requires an individual to take a mid-nasal sample. The shallow nasal PCR swab is less invasive than the Nasopharyngeal swab, which requires the swab to go up the nose and further back toward the nasal cavity.
“Certainly we know that PCR tests have more sensitivity than any other test," said Dr. Dana Hawkinson, with the University of Kansas Health System, "but a lot of this is going to rely on the operator who is doing the test,” .
At-home tests depend upon the person taking the sample and the timing of when it is taken, according to Hawkinson.
He recommended a person take a test no sooner than 48 hours after exposure to the virus.
“This gives you time or higher probability that if you have it, you will have developed symptoms or you could be positive," Hawkinson said. "That is not really any written down guidance, that is based on the timeframe when most people would get symptoms after infection."
To get the EUA approval from the FDA, Viracor had to perform a study with individuals of all education backgrounds and ages and have them use the collection kits. Instructions for the test had to be “very clear” and “easy to use” in order to get authorization.
The test costs $89 for anyone living in the U.S. The price includes shipping to and from, as well as tax. Kits can be ordered online.