Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

FDA Authorizes LabCorp's At-Home COVID-19 Test Kit

By Jim Crumly – Apr 21, 2020 at 4:14PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

With supplies currently limited, kits will be prioritized for healthcare workers and first responders, but as production ramps up in coming weeks, they will be made broadly available.

Shares of Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LH -2.22%) headed higher Tuesday on news that the FDA has granted emergency use authorization for its at-home test kit for COVID-19.

The test kit includes a nasal swab that a person can use to take their own sample, which they then mail to LabCorp for processing. Patients in most states will be able to buy the test kit online from the company's online portal, but first, they will need an order from a healthcare professional, which they can get after filling out a questionnaire. The ability to self-administer the test allows people to avoid the risk of transmitting the virus at test sites, and reduces the demand for personal protective equipment for clinicians.

Cotton swap being put in a test tube labelled "Coronavirus"

Image source: Getty Images.

LabCorp said that quantities of the test kit are limited now, so they are initially making them available only to healthcare workers and first responders who may have been exposed to COVID-19 or who are symptomatic. As more are manufactured, the company intends to make the kits available broadly to consumers in the coming weeks.

LabCorp launched a molecular test for COVID-19 based on its polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology on March 5 and has since ramped up its capacity such that it can now process 20,000 of the tests per day. Up till now, specimens for those tests had to be collected at healthcare facilities, but the FDA order has granted temporary permission for specimen collection to take place at home with a doctor's order even though the kit hasn't been formally approved.

Jim Crumly has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Laboratory Corporation of America Stock Quote
Laboratory Corporation of America
LH
$205.61 (-2.22%) $-4.66

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
338%
 
S&P 500 Returns
108%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 10/07/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.