Just last week we told you about an Emergency Use Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for a home COVID-19 test—along with an admonition that self-testing may make already-insufficient reporting of COVID-19 data even worse. As the pandemic continues and we wade deeper into flu season, the FDA has now authorized the first home dual test for COVID-19 and influenza A and B. Available by prescription only, the Quest Diagnostics product includes a self-collection kit that can be shipped to the company for analysis after the patient has taken a sample. To read the entire announcement from the FDA, click here. Keep in mind that while home testing of any kind will likely encourage more widespread testing and reduce the risk of exposure in your urgent care centers, it also is likely to increase the risk for less reliable results and reporting. If you prescribe the self-test, counsel patients on appropriate practices in collecting samples and emphasize the importance of reporting the results formally (to the health department) and informally (to family, friends, and coworkers with whom they may have been in contact).
On the Heels of a Solo Home Test, FDA OK’s a Combo COVID-19–Flu Kit