Apr 22, 2020 - Health

FDA approves new at-home coronavirus test kits

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn said Wednesday that stay at-home coronavirus tests will help states increase their testing capabilities.

Why it matters: Increasing daily tests is a key requirement that states must reach before they can safely relax coronavirus lockdowns.

Driving the news: The Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday that it granted emergency authorization for LabCorp's first at-home coronavirus test, CBS News reports.

  • The test is a nasal swab kit and will cost $119, though buyers must complete an eligibility survey before receiving one.
  • It will not be available in New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Rhode Island because they have regulations against people initiating their own tests, according to CBS.

What they're saying: Hahn told CBS that health care workers and first responders will have first access to the test when it goes on sale.

  • Hahn added that the test is as effective as those administered in a doctor’s office.
  • "With this action, there is now a convenient and reliable option for patient sample collection from the comfort and safety of their home," he said in a statement.

The big picture: The United States had conducted more than 4 million tests as of Wednesday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

  • The country has tested an average of 146,000 people per day so far in April, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
  • Harvard University researchers suggest that the U.S. cannot reopen its economy unless it triples the number of daily tests, the New York Times reports.

Go deeper: Maryland to receive 500,000 coronavirus tests from South Korea

Go deeper

15 hours ago - Health

Protests against police brutality threaten coronavirus response

Protesters in Philadelphia on June 1. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Protests against police brutality have prompted the closure of coronavirus test sites across the country, including in Pennsylvania, Florida, California and Illinois, Politico reports.

Why it matters: This adds to concerns that the protests themselves create an environment in which the virus can easily spread, particularly if and when protesters aren't wearing masks or social distancing.

Updated 8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump says RNC is looking outside of North Carolina for convention site

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper in 2018. Photo: Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Tuesday night that because of ongoing coronavirus restrictions in North Carolina, the Republican Party will be "forced to seek another state" to host its convention in August.

The big picture: The late-night tweet came after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) told convention organizers earlier Tuesday that Republicans should plan for a "scaled-down convention with fewer people, social distancing and face coverings" given the impact of the pandemic.

Updates: George Floyd protests continue past curfews

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Tuesday across the U.S. for the eighth consecutive day, prompting a federal response from the National Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

The latest: Even with early curfews in New York City and Washington, D.C., protesters are still out en masse. Some protesters in D.C. said they were galvanized by President Trump's photo op in front of St. John's Church on Monday and threat to deploy U.S. troops in the rest of country if violence isn't quelled, NBC News reports.