FDA opens door to rapid, at-home screening for COVID-19

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday opened the door to COVID-19 testing that could be fast, cheap, and handled entirely at home — if companies don’t find the rules too burdensome.

Routine screening of people who don’t know they have COVID-19 could transform the fight against the disease.

“These types of tests will be a game-changer in our fight against COVID-19 and will be crucial as the nation looks toward reopening,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said in a statement announcing how the agency will approve at-home tests.

So far, the FDA hasn’t allowed anyone to sell tests for at-home use.

Lab tests to detect the coronavirus are accurate, but they’re often restricted to people who have COVID-19 symptoms. It often takes days to get results — by which point the person may have already infected others.

Other tests are fast, but so expensive they’re unlikely to be used

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Designer Kelly Finley Donates Her Services to COVID-19 Essential Workers

Though the coronavirus pandemic has brought the world to a standstill over the last three months, the design community—from big brands to small businesses—has stepped up to help in a wide range of ways, whether that be sewing masks, donating goods, or organizing fundraisers. And sometimes they’re helping out by acknowledging and thanking essential workers.

Take, for instance, Oakland-based designer Kelly Finley. Finley, a former lawyer, runs the nonprofit Joy Street Initiative, an offshoot of her studio Joy Street Design. Joy Street Initiative typically works on community efforts like renovating women’s shelters in the Bay Area. When the pandemic slowed down the organization’s scheduled projects, Finley decided to redirect its resources to COVID-19 frontliners—a term she uses broadly to encompass everyone from medical professionals to grocery store employees to delivery people—by setting up a giveaway on Instagram last month.

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