The Washington Post reports:
The FDA late Friday approved the first coronavirus test that can be conducted entirely at the point of care for a patient — and deliver results in 45 minutes. The FDA granted “emergency use authorization” to Cepheid, a California company that makes a rapid molecular test for the coronavirus. Getting results in 45 minutes would be far quicker than the current situation in which tests typically are sent to central reference labs that can take days to deliver results.
The FDA authorization covers “patient care settings,” including doctors’ offices, but initially will be used primarily by hospitals and emergency departments, the company said. The specimen can be collected either by a nasal swab or by a saline wash using a small catheter. Neither is particularly comfortable, but the advantage of the wash is that it doesn’t require swabs, which are in short supply.