FDA issues first emergency use authorization for Covid-19 po
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U.S. Food and Drug Administration reissued an emergency use authorization (EUA) to Quest SARS-CoV-2 rRT-PCR test for use with pooled samples containing up to four individual swab specimens collected under observation.

• The Quest test is the first COVID-19 diagnostic test to be authorized for use with pooled samples.

• Sample pooling is an important public health tool because it allows for more people to be tested quickly using fewer testing resources.

• Sample pooling does this by allowing multiple people – in this case four individuals – to be tested at once.

• The samples collected from these four individuals are then tested in a pool or “batch” using one test, rather than running each individual sample on its own test.

• If the pool is positive, it means that one or more of the individuals tested in that pool may be infected, so each of the samples in that pool are tested again individually.

• Because the samples are pooled, it is expected that fewer tests are run overall, meaning fewer testing supplies are used and more tests can be run at the same time allowing patients to receive their results more quickly in most cases.

• This testing strategy is most efficient in areas with low prevalence, meaning most results are expected to be negative.

Source: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-fda-issues-first-emergency-authorization-sample-pooling-diagnostic
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