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What are the options for at-home coronavirus testing?

A few tests have received emergency FDA authorization, which is different than full FDA approval.

While a COVID-19 vaccine is potentially right around the corner, researchers are trying to make testing for the virus easier. 

One way is to make those tests available at home. 

Currently, there are nine companies allowed to sell at home testing kits by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

They cost between $109 and $155 and use a nasal swab or saliva collection method.

You have to fill out a short questionnaire before getting the test delivered to your home, and you have to send the test back to a lab for results. 

While the labs claim high accuracy,  all of the tests were given emergency FDA authorization, which is different than full FDA approval.

That means the tests did not go through the same rigorous review. Health experts say there are two patient populations the at-home tests may work for: patients in rural areas without access to testing sites or high-risk patients who want to be tested without leaving their homes. 

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Just because you test negative, doesn't mean you don't have the coronavirus.

Doctors warn people should not be using these tests as way to justify having a large gathering, not wearing masks or not social distancing.

The FDA also a rapid results at-home test manufactured by Lucira Health, which requires a prescription.

Results will be shown in 30 minutes, but the test won't be available until the spring.

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