Feb 6, 2020 - Health

FDA allows states to test for coronavirus for faster results

Illustration of a virus under a spotlight
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shipped the diagnostic test for the novel coronavirus to more than 100 public health labs nationwide, allowing states to test for coronavirus cases themselves and receive results quicker.

Why it matters: The FDA bypassed usual regulatory channels to distribute the test under an Emergency Use Authorization, which has been used in life-threatening situations like MERS, Ebola and the Zika virus.

  • Before, specimens from all over the country had to be shipped to Atlanta to have their suspected cases validated. 
  • "This continues to be an evolving situation and the ability to distribute this diagnostic test to qualified labs is a critical step forward in protecting the public health," FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said.

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