December 5 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Brett McKeehan and Eoin McSweeney, CNN

Updated 0546 GMT (1346 HKT) December 6, 2020
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12:22 a.m. ET, December 5, 2020

US FDA authorizes first Covid-19 flu combo test for at-home sample collection

From CNN Health’s Shelby Lin Erdman

The US Food and Drug Administration said Friday it has authorized the first emergency use for a combination coronavirus and flu test for at-home sample collection. It can detect both Covid-19 and influenza A and B.

Health care providers can prescribe the test for people suspected of having Covid-19 for sample collection at home, the FDA said.

The new test is a “significant step” in the agency’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said Friday in a statement.

“With the authorization of this test, the FDA is helping to address the ongoing fight against Covid-19 while in the middle of the flu season, which is important for many, including the most vulnerable of Americans,” Hahn said.

Hahn said the test, which comes as flu season ramps up in the US, allows suspected Covid-19-positive patients to remain in quarantine at home while waiting for test results. 

“This efficiency can go a long way to providing timely information for those sick with an unknown respiratory ailment,” Hahn added.