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These over-the-counter, at-home COVID-19 tests could come very soon

President Joe Biden announced a new deal for the production of over-the-counter, at-home COVID-19 tests

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Snow falls on the ground on the West Wing of the White House, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, in Washington. President Joe Biden announced a new deal for the production of over-the-counter, at-home COVID-19 test.

Snow falls on the ground on the West Wing of the White House, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, in Washington. President Joe Biden announced a new deal for the production of over-the-counter, at-home COVID-19 test.

Associated Press

President Joe Biden’s administration signed a $230 million deal Monday that could bring Americans their first over-the-counter, at-home COVID-19 test, NBC News reports.

  • “These are over-the-counter, self-performed test kits that can detect COVID with roughly 95% accuracy within 15 minutes,” Andy Slavitt, the White House senior adviser for COVID-19 response, said Monday, according to NBC News.

Context

Back in November, the Food and Drug Administration approved the emergency use of the test, which comes from the company Ellume.

  • The test is expected to cost $30 a pop.
  • Ellume’s test works similar to an at-home pregnancy test.
  • These tests are good for people 2 years old and up.

Production woes

Ellume has been in the midst of production. But the new deal will help increase the amount of tests made, according to NBC News.

  • “Ellume has been ramping up manufacturing and will ship 100,000 test kits per month to the U.S. from February through July,” Slavitt said, according to NBC News. “That’s good, but it’s obviously not where we will need to be.”
  • But the new deal will allow Ellume “to scale the production to manufacture over 19 million test kits per month by the end of this year, 8.5 million of which are guaranteed to the U.S. government,” Slavitt said.

Any other tests?

DxTerity COViD-19 Saliva at-Home Collection Kit — which has emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration — was once listed on Amazon, as I wrote about for the Deseret News. The listing appears to have been removed, though.

  • However, the test kit costs $110 and requires you to send in the sample to a lab, as I explained for the Deseret News.