FDA authorizes emergency use for quicker, but less reliable coronavirus antigen test

Tim O'Donnell

With the United States struggling to meet the recommended quota of coronavirus tests per day, the Food and Drug Administration issued the first emergency use authorization Friday for a COVID-19 antigen test.

The test, produced by San Diego-based manufacturer Quidel, can diagnose COVID-19 by detecting fragments of protein found on or within the virus present in samples collected from the naval cavity using swabs. The test produces results within minutes — much more quickly than many other tests on the market, which are more complex to conduct and analyze — but the technology is also more liable to result in false negatives, so an additional PCR test may be necessary to confirm.

But once production ramps up, so will the country's ability to test millions of Americans per day. Douglas Bryant, Quidel's chief executive, told The Wall Street Journal, they hope to have 200,000 tests available as soon as next week. Read more at CNBC and The Wall Street Journal.

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