A 5-Minute Coronavirus Test

The test can run on small machines the size of a toaster

A new test for the novel coronavirus can deliver a positive result in as little as five minutes and a negative result in 13 minutes. With the standard test, the turnaround time can be several days. Healthcare company Abbott Laboratories, which makes the new test, received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration late Friday. Chicago-based Abbott says it will start shipping tests to hospitals next week and hopes to deliver 50,000 tests a day.

The test can be run on small machines the size of a toaster that can be set up almost anywhere. About 18,000 of the Abbott machines, which are currently used to rapidly detect flu, are already spread out across the country. The United States has struggled to provide enough tests to diagnose cases of Covid-19, even as companies have ramped up the production of tests in recent weeks.

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Emily Mullin

Emily Mullin

Former staff writer at Medium, where I covered biotech, genetics, and Covid-19 for OneZero, Future Human, Elemental, and the Coronavirus Blog.