• The FDA's Dr. Stephen Hahn attested the new at-home coronavirus tests were just as effective as those at the physician's office 
  • Patients need to complete an online survey to see if they qualify for an at-home test
  • If approved for testing, a package with test materials will be sent to the patient 

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn, the new at-home coronavirus test, in addition to being "easy and safe to perform," was as "accurate as having it performed in the doctor's office or in a clinic."

Fielding questions about the new at-home test on CBS This Morning on Wednesday morning (April 23), Dr. Hahn explained the tests would be meant to diagnose "the presence of the COVID-19 virus" in a safe and effective way.

Potential test users would need to complete an online survey that would be forwarded to a licensed physician to evaluate. If "appropriate and consistent with CDC guidelines," the potential patient would be sent a package with a swab and tube overnight for testing.

Anyone would be able to then perform their own test upon receiving the materials, put the included swab in a tube of sterile saline, and send it overnight back to the lab with results pending from LabCorp. LabCorp was responsible for making and receiving the tests, though there was no word currently on how many tests will be available or when they'll be up for grabs.

According to Dr. Hahn, the first wave of tests will be focused on being sent out to front-line healthcare workers and first responders, a high-risk group in need of tests to diagnose their potential conditions. He also noted the current need for expanding the availability of tests has grown as the nation continued to see additional coronavirus cases popping up as the days go by.

"We've had calls with the governors about it, there is unlocked capacity in the country," said Dr. Hahn. "We believe that based upon that information that we could double the number of tests that are done in a very short period of time."

There was currently no directives as to how at-home patients will need to perform the swab test, or if it will be as invasive as the one that professionals have been administering. Those tests required that a swab be inserted deep into the nasal cavity and upward and may be a bit uncomfortable for individuals to utilize.

An elderly home worker is tested for novel coronavirus near Paris
An elderly home worker is tested for novel coronavirus near Paris AFP / ALAIN JOCARD