FDA authorizes first coronavirus antigen test

FDA authorizes first coronavirus antigen test

Antigen tests deliver results faster than the majority of tests on the market, which rely on a technology called PCR. But the antigen tests produce more false negatives — prompting the FDA to warn that negative results from antigen tests “do not rule out infection.”

The agency said that it expects other antigen tests to hit the market soon. Because they are cheaper and simpler to make than PCR tests, they could eventually be used to test millions of Americans per day, “helping our country better identify infection rates closer to real time,” the FDA said.

Health experts say the United States needs to vastly expand its coronavirus testing capacity to safely reopen the country, although some governors have already moved to re-open their states.