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Scripps Health launches five-minute COVID-19 test

The test can deliver a positive result in as little as five minutes and a negative result in 13 minutes

SAN DIEGO — Scripps Health Thursday announced the launch of the fastest available point-of-care test for detecting the coronavirus at its five hospital campuses in San Diego County.

The test, which will be used to screen for COVID-19 in hospitalized patients requiring quick diagnostic turnaround, can deliver a positive result in as little as five minutes and a negative result in 13 minutes, a hospital statement said. The diagnostic tool received emergency-use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration on March 27.

"Testing is a critical part of the overall response to the coronavirus pandemic," said Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps Health. "Today, Scripps moves that important tool to the front line of our fight against this devastating disease. The ability to deliver results in minutes at our hospitals for patients exhibiting possible symptoms of COVID-19 will allow our physicians to make faster and better decisions about delivering the best care needed."

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The assay runs on Abbott's ID NOW infectious-disease-testing platform, a 6.6-pound, toaster-sized portable device that uses molecular technology to deliver reliable and accurate results.

For COVID-19, the platform looks for the novel coronavirus RdRp gene in throat, nasal, nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs taken from patients who might be infected.

The ID NOW system joins several other platforms already in use at Scripps laboratories for in-house testing for COVID-19, as well as outside testing capacity provided through Quest Diagnostics. 

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CORONAVIRUS BACKGROUND: 

According to the CDC, coronavirus (COVID-19) is a family of viruses that is spreadable from person to person.  If someone is sick with coronavirus, the symptoms they may show include mild to severe respiratory illness, cough, and difficulty breathing.
Currently, there is no vaccine, however, the CDC suggests the following precautions, along with any other respiratory illness:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds. 

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