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FDA approves new test to detect the coronavirus in 45 minutes

Posted at 10:47 AM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 12:26:04-04

The first rapid diagnostic test for coronavirus has been approved by the FDA.

The new test can detect COVID-19 in about 45 minutes.

MORE: Latest news on coronavirus

California-based company Cepheid, which makes the test, says they can start shipping it next week.

Clinicians say faster testing will help alleviate some of the pressure on hospital resources.

"During this time of increased demand for hospital services, clinicians urgently need an on-demand diagnostic test for real-time management of patients being evaluated for admission to health-care facilities. An accurate test delivered close to the patient can be transformative — and help alleviate the pressure that the emergence of the 2019-nCoV outbreak has put on healthcare facilities that need to properly allocate their respiratory isolation resources," said Dr. David Persing, the chief medical and technology officer at Cepheid.

The test is a significant advancement because some patients have complained it took them days to get results.