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March 25, 2021

'Day of' COVID-19 test cleared by FDA for event, wedding testing

Tests cost $44 each or $1,100 for a pack of 25

Prevention COVID-19
Weddings mass COVID testing Pexels/Stock

A California-based company created affordable at-home COVID-19 test kits for events to detect the contagiousness of COVID-19.

A California company wants to "make wedding rescheduling and downsizing a thing of the past," with its rapid COVID-19 tests that give results in about 10 minutes.

Guests take the self-administered, nasal test the day of the wedding or event, prior to arriving, to detect their "level of contagiousness" and limit the spread of the virus, the test kits manufacturer, SWABD, said in press release on Thursday.

The Food and Drug Administration has issued an Emergency Use Authorization for the Carestart COVID-19 antigen test technology, which touts the ability to give results in 10 minutes — making it an easy way to prescreen people before they head into an event.

The test's taker uses a nasal swab to obtain a sample, then puts the swab sample into a buffer solution before placing it into the device itself. 

Results are displayed similar to a pregnancy test, with a control line to show the test worked and a detection line that shows if the user is contagious or not.

The test is more than 99% effective in detecting contagious COVID-19 cases, SWABD said, meaning they will catch people both with and without symptoms present. The company said the test also detects the new variants of COVID-19 because the test does not measure the part of the virus that is mutating.

"If a new variant emerges that SWABD does not detect well, the tests can be quickly updated," the company said.

The tests cost $44 each or $1,100 for a pack of 25 tests. Most at-home test kits range from $100 to $200 and PCR tests require a lab visit and days of waiting for results. 

While the test is effective in detecting contagiousness, the company recommends that people still practice social distancing and wear face masks.

The test is manufactured by SWABD's lab partner, Access Bio Inc.

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