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Abbott’s point-of-care COVID test delivers positives in five minutes and negatives in thirteen minutes; claims 50,000 tests a day will be output by next week: MPR

2020-04-05

(lovely flowers I photographed in the desert last year)

This story was in my inbox today but dated March 30.  The test depends on a proprietary “black box” the size of a small toaster; although they didn’t say, I have heard that there are as many as 7,000 of these boxes already in use at outpatient and ER facilities.  According to Abbott’s March 27 publicity release:

When not being used for COVID-19 testing, ID NOW is the leading molecular point-of-care platform for Influenza A&B, Strep A and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) testing.

If this test is reliable and as available as the other tests (for influenza, strep throat, and infantile RSV infection) then it will dramatically improve our ability to detect the new virus.  As many have already said, testing, testing, testing is one key to bringing this pandemic under control.  The second key is smartphone-based contact tracing, as implemented in South Korea.  The third key is population buy-in for the instructions from the government (which have finally caught up with reality, at least in what-to-do-now recommendations) which is another thing entirely from the administration’s attempts to blame the previous administration (which tried to warn the incoming admin) and its shoot-the-messenger behavior (firing the captain of the aircraft carrier now docked in Guam).

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