The major regulatory body for foods, drugs, and other essential commodities in the United States, FDA (Food and Drug Administration), has now updated its guidelines regarding coronavirus testing process to make this procedure more convenient and simple for patients, and also restrict the impact of testing procedures on the overall supply of PPE (personal protective equipment) utilized by healthcare workers, which also includes face shields, gowns, gloves, and protective masks.
This new change by the agency means that people undergoing the COVID-19’s test would be capable of conducting their own swabs, which would include swabbing shallowly into their nose. The current process of testing needed a healthcare professional to conduct the swab, and further collect a sample from the nasal cavity.
This new update doesn’t mean that there’s any difference in the guidance of the FDA about at-home sample collection. The agency has still restricted the collection of samples in home as per its rules clarified on the weekend. This mandate was put out by the agency to stop the distribution of at-home testing collection kits by diagnostic start-ups.
People would still need to go at an authorized drive-through or a clinical testing site, and also meet the CDC’s (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) screening demands to get tested. However, the Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence, stated that this new change would only mean that testing conditions are safer for the testing medical personnel along with decreasing the stress over PPE resources.
Pence further added that all private and state labs are now required by law to submit all the outcomes to the CDC, whereas earlier, some states were submitting only positive cases, which no doubt skewed the numbers in terms of the overall number of people across the U.S. tested and showing positive diagnoses.
Source credit: https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/23/fda-updates-covid-19-testing-guidelines-to-allow-self-swab-tests/