WASHINGTON — U.S. health officials have authorized two more over-the-counter COVID-19 tests that can be used at home to get quick results.
The Food and Drug Administration decision this week is expected to vastly expand the availability of cheap home tests that many experts have recommended for months. The FDA says tests made by Abbott and Quidel can now be sold without a prescription. That will allow people to test themselves repeatedly at home.
The home tests allow users to collect a sample themselves with a nasal swab that is then inserted into a test strip. Results are usually available in 10 to 20 minutes.
Repeat testing is important to reduce chances of false results. Both tests can be used by adults to test children 2 years and older.
Frequent self-testing is considered key to help reopen schools, universities and offices as vaccinations ramp up.