New York City is using 15-minute rapid COVID-19 diagnostic tests in coronavirus hotspots to reach New Yorkers in medically underserved communities.
According to Gothamist, the Abbott tests, which were approved by the FDA in March, show positive results in five minutes and negative results in about 13 minutes without the use of a lab. They're the same tests that President Donald Trump and other White House officials have been using.
The test involves a nasopharyngeal swap, which is inserted into the nose to the top of the throat. Residents who get the swab are also being tested with the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) diagnostic test. That test is more accurate, but it takes longer to get results.
NYC rolled out the rapid tests last week as part of a pilot program aimed to reach certain "virus hotspots," starting with Tremont in the Bronx. The city selected this neighborhood based on data showing how many residents had been tested and the percentage of positive cases. If the pilot goes to plan, the program will expand to other neighborhoods.
Across the city, New Yorkers who have gotten tested for COVID-19 are having to wait weeks to find out the result as the amount of testing increases. Right now, New York is doing the most tests per capita in the U.S.
Update: it's been 14 days since I got a COVID-19 test and still no results. Tried calling the CityMD on Friday and ended up on hold for 35 minutes, gave up. Not great, you guys! https://t.co/BxWAHw3lUg— Jeanmarie Evelly (@JeanmarieEvelly) July 14, 2020
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