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Study: Self-administered COVID-19 tests highly effective

Brandi Powell
Updated: March 26, 2020 07:33 PM
Created: March 26, 2020 04:56 PM

Results just released from a new UnitedHealth Group study reveal self-administered coronavirus tests are more than 90% effective. Therefore, the FDA updated its guidance, greenlighting self-collected samples of COVID-19.

UnitedHealthcare said it's a simple, self-collected test, but it's not to be used at home. It's taken in a medical facility, and the process is designed to protect patients and health workers.

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"In two important ways, this is a game-changer. It eliminates the unnecessary exposure of health care workers, and it also preserves limited supplies that we have of these critical equipment called personal protective equipment," Robert Kantor, Market Chief Medical Officer for UnitedHealthcare covering Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, said.

Full KSTP coronavirus coverage

Results of a new UnitedHealth Group study show the long swabs that health care workers have to put deep into your nose aren't the only effective tests for COVID-19.

What's more, Kantor said those tests often cause patients to cough, sneeze or vomit.

"That by itself is going to expose a health care worker unnecessarily to that virus," Kantor said.

The self-collected tests fix that.

"These are swabs that are about half as long, and they're a swab that only needs to go in the outer nostril or middle nasal region," said Kantor.

With proper social distancing, a provider will guide you through the process.

"They could be doing it in their car if it's a drive-up, they could be doing it in the exam room," Kantor added.

It's a different method that officials now know will get the same results.


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