Coronavirus News: New COVID-19 tests arriving in Tri-State area

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Hundreds of thousands of new COVID-19 tests will now be available in New York and New Jersey.

The FDA gave emergency use authorization to Hologic for tests that can be processed in mass quantities in a short period of time.

The company is known for using its swab test for sexually transmitted diseases. The company modified the test for COVID-19.

"It's going to have a dramatic impact where we can start to broaden the amount of people being tested, as you know its been a gauntlet just trying to get a test done," said Steve MacMillan, CEO of Hologic.

The company shipped out millions of the tests to hospitals and labs across the country and a large amount of those showed up at hospitals and labs in the Tri-State area.

Unlike some other tests, once the swab is inserted inside the tube, no more lab work is needed. It goes directly into a machine were results come back in a matter of hours. One machine can analyze a thousand results a day.

There are already more than 100 machines that analyze the results in hospitals and labs in New York and New Jersey.
"These are already in the labs in Northwell hospitals, they're in Montefiore, they're in a whole bunch of the hospitals today and the labs in New Jersey, so the lab techs know how to use it," said MacMillan.

With different tests becoming more available to find out if you have the virus or the antibodies, experts say it's important to find out if it's federally approved before getting tested.

Peter Pitts, a former FDA Associate Commissioner, says make sure the test you're taking has been approved, or has emergency use authorization by the FDA. Hologic's test received emergency use authorization last week.

"The opening of the economy has to be data drive, data is driven largely through testing," said Pitts.

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