Nebraska health professionals react to new COVID and Flu test

A new weapon in the tool belt to fight COVID and the Flu just got authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.
Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 7:44 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 1, 2023 at 9:18 AM CST
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - A new tool to fight COVID-19 and the flu just got authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.

Lucira Health’s test is the first at home version to get the approval of the FDA. It has health professionals excited for the possibilities, but understanding the test does may have a draw back.

“This is something people can purchase and use at home,” Central District Health Department Director Teresea Anderson said. “If they are not well they do not have to go out, they can test at home with it. The test is fairly accurate. It’s rather expensive.”

The cost is where the draw back comes in, with a $99 price tag the test is not the most affordable. One medical professional said the new COVID test is just a piece of a larger puzzle of helping to provide quality medical access no matter the income.

“Those who have the highest risk for having bad outcomes, unfortunately often times have the least access to care that they need and so that is one of the challenges as a society that we’re faced with and the pandemic kind of shoved in our faces a little more again,” primary care physician Dr. Michael D. Schooff said.

The hope is as supply meets demand, the price of these at home flu and COVID tests starts to fall.

“I think we will see more, and I don’t think it will just be with this company, I think there are other companies working on this technology which will reduce the cost of at-home testing as well,” Dr. Renuga Vivekanandan, CHI Health’s Chief of Infectious Disease, said. “I predict we will have more at-home testing for viruses and other infections soon in the near future.”

The Lucira COVID and Flu test is currently on sale through the company’s website, but no local retailer is carrying the product just yet.