FDA Approves Quest COVID-19 Test for 'Pooled' Sample Use
With pooling, laboratories would combine parts of samples and test them together
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given emergency approval to a new approach to coronavirus testing that combines test samples in batches instead of running them one by one, speeding up the process.
The FDA said Saturday that it reissued an emergency use authorization to Quest Diagnostics to use its COVID-19 test with pooled samples. It is the first test to be authorized to be used in this way.
With pooling, instead of running each person’s test individually, laboratories would combine parts of samples from several people and test them together. A negative result would clear everyone in the batch. A positive result would require each sample to be individually retested. Pooling works best with lab-run tests, which take hours — not the much quicker individual tests used in clinics or doctor’s offices.
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