Could This $5, 15 Minute COVID-19 Test Speed Up Travel Industry Recovery?
Photo Credit: Luis Alvarez | Getty Images

Photo Credit: Luis Alvarez | Getty Images

Could This $5, 15 Minute COVID-19 Test Speed Up Travel Industry Recovery?

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Leah Freeman-Haskin
Leah Freeman-Haskin Sep 3, 2020

Currently, COVID-19 test results can take days to receive. Not to mention, many people have had to wait hours in lines just to get tested. With the race in full motion to get a vaccine in place, there may be a short-term option that could potentially speed up travel recovery and maybe even reduce the spread of the virus.

According to travelpulse.com, “Abbott Laboratories announced on August 26 that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for its BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card rapid test for the detection of coronavirus infection. The point-of-care, rapid test, which is highly portable and can be run outside the laboratory system, produces results in just 15 minutes and costs only $5.”

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The tests can be easily managed without a healthcare professional. No special equipment is needed and no invasive nasal swabs are required. The new BinaxNOW detects antigens (proteins found on the surface of the COVID-19 virus), instead of the virus itself.

The rapid tests are expected to be available this month, with a ramp up in production starting in October. In a clinical study, BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card to have a 97.1-percent sensitivity (meaning that it produces positive results in the presence of the COVID-19 antigen) and 98.5-percent specificity (meaning that it produces negative results when the antigen is not present).

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Although it may be a while before we see these tests in airports across the country, more readily-available, reliable, cheaper, and faster testing options have caused airline stocks to shoot up in recent weeks and have created lots of wishful thinking for a quick recovery in travel. Here’s hoping for a jet setting 2021!