Rapid Testing: Army Of Companies Works To Ensure A Safe Return
Army Of Companies Works To Ensure A Safe Return
While hopes that a COVID-19 vaccine will soon be widely available continue to be part of the national discussion, companies have already made numerous advances in the rapid-response COVID-19 testing that may prove necessary whenever large gatherings are able to resume.
The federal government’s Operation Warp Speed earlier this year authorized 193 types of COVID-19 tests. Since then a number of rapid-response tests have been developed for consumers.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there are two kinds of COVID-19 tests:
* Diagnostics, which include molecular and antigen tests. These are mostly nasal or throat swabs or, in a few cases, saliva tests.
* Antibody tests, which are finger prick/blood drawing tests.
While Cepheid’s Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 automated molecular test uses cartridge technology to deliver results in as little as 30 minutes, the majority of the portable, on-site tests delivering rapid results at venues are antigen tests.
Abbot says it produced 50 million of its nasal-swab BinaxNow COVID-19 Ag Card rapid antigen tests at the cost of $5 each in October. This test pairs with an app called Navica that allows for scanning to provide quick digital access to each guest’s test results, effectively creating a “boarding pass.” This test needs to be conducted by a health care worker but is highly portable, requiring no instrumentation. The entire test is conducted with a nasal swab, and a test card about the size of a credit card.
The BD Veritor system also has a portable chromatographic immunoassay nasal swab test that provides results in 15 minutes. This test is primarily meant to be used at hospitals and in labs, but the organization says it can also be set up in temporary sites in conjunction with hospitals and health care providers.
Some concert promoters, like Brett Herman and Timothy Monkiewicz, have continued putting on scaled-down events like the In My Elements retreat while requiring participants to complete advanced COVID testing and another layer upon arrival at the event. Meanwhile, U.K. live entertainment solutions company Swallow Events, with Swiss health care company Roche, introduced rapid COVID testing for events.