MONTEREY, Calif. (KION) A Monterey lab is offering rapid COVID-19 testing, which can detect an exposure in less than 20 minutes. The company, ARCpoint Labs of Monterey Bay, is giving priority to first responders and health care workers.
This is all possible because of an FDA emergency authorization for the tests.
Their testing is not available to the general public at this time but could be in the future.
“We’re hoping that, you know, being able to test large numbers is really going to give this one a key role in fighting off the pandemic around here,” ARCpoint Co-owner Spenser Smith said.
The company has 1,300 test kits from Europe available, which they showed to our cameras at a trial run Tuesday for a handful of participants.
“What i like about this is the results come back quickly,” said Kevin Brookhouser who took the COVID-19 test at their trial run.
They’re not offering the tests to just anyone at this time, prioritizing first responders, like police officers, and health care workers. But Smith sees this as a breakthrough toward making testing more widely available.
“The nose swab test looks for the virus itself, this one looks for your body’s response–your body’s antibodies it’s making to fight off the virus,” Smith said.
The results for this test actually come in faster than the typical swab test. A small blood sample is taken in order to determine if a person was exposed to COVID-19.
In about 10 to 20 minutes, the test results are in. If it’s a positive case, one to two lines will show up on a small test strip.
But it has it’s limitations.
“If you were just exposed to the virus, say you know like two or three days ago was your exposure, and your body is still ramping up its antibody response, this test will not necessarily detect that yet,” Smith said.
The test costs around 70 bucks, but Smith hopes to bring that price down as they become more widely available.
The company hopes to develop partnerships with first responding agencies so they can administer the tests directly to those employees, but Smith told KION any first responders can contact the company directly if they’d like to get tested.