How Big of a Deal Is the First At-Home Covid Test?

Max Nisen: The test, which is made by California-based Lucira Health, is promising for a few reasons. There are other testing solutions that will send you a swab, but require you to send the sample back to a lab. This test can be done start-to-finish at home. It’s a convenient new option that should be very helpful in certain settings where you need a quick and accurate test or when labs are overwhelmed. But the broader public health impact may not be enormous. At around $50, it’s not cheap enough to provide the broad, repeated testing many public health experts are calling for. And it will only be available narrowly at first, with a national rollout expected by spring of 2021. There will only be about 50,000 to 100,000 assays available per month initially — New York routinely reports more tests in a day — and it requires a prescription

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