FDA authorizes new over-the-counter COVID-19 test

Published: May. 18, 2022 at 7:50 AM CDT|Updated: May. 18, 2022 at 10:38 AM CDT
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(CNN) - As COVID-19 cases are trending up in all but three U.S. states, the Food and Drug Administration has authorized a new, first of its kind over-the-counter COVID-19 test.

Yesterday, the agency also gave the green light for boosters in kids 5 to 11.

Across the U.S., new COVID-19 cases have more than doubled over the past month. The Northeast was hit especially hard, with more than 40% of people living in a county with a “high” community level.

That means universal indoor masking is recommended.

“We still have a lot to do with regard to vaccinations, with regard to boosters, with regard to making it very clear that we have anti-virals available for people, especially those who are at high risk,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said.

Testing, another weapon in the war on COVID-19, received a bump with the FDA clearing a new over-the-counter test.

Unlike any other, it uses a nasal swab sample to test for COVID, flu and respiratory syncytial virus at the same time.

Those samples are then sent back to the test maker for testing and results are delivered through an online portal.

The test can be purchased online or in a store without a prescription.

Meanwhile, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported new COVID-19 cases among U.S. kids are up for the fifth week in a row.

On Tuesday, the FDA gave emergency use authorization for a booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 to 11, at least five months after their initial series of shots.

The company said a third vaccine dose raised omicron-fighting antibodies by 36 times in this age group.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also updated guidance for those traveling within the U.S.

The agency also urged domestic travelers to get tested no more than three days before their trip, even if vaccinated and boosted.

Travelers are also asked to get tested afterward especially after spending time in crowds without a well-fitting mask.

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