By Dr. Max Gomez

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The consensus among pretty much all public health experts is that a crucial key to reopening the economy is massive, accessible, affordable testing — both for the coronavirus itself and for antibodies in recovered patients.

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Testing for the virus has been slow, difficult and hampered by shortages of various parts of the test, not to mention that to get tested you had to get to a drive-thru test site or qualify for a test at a hospital or other medical facility.

Now, the FDA has just given emergency use authorization for the first at-home test for the coronavirus. It’s part of the Pixel group of home tests offered by LabCorp.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

The test kit consists of nasal swabs, detailed instructions and a return FedEx envelope to send the swabs to LabCorp for processing.

Because initial quantities of the kits are limited, LabCorp is only making them available to first responders and health care workers until they ramp up production.

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You will be asked to complete a short survey to confirm eligibility, which will then be evaluated by an independent physician before you can buy a kit.

The cost will be $119.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ Health Dept. | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211

According to the FDA, LabCorp will make the tests available in most states in the coming weeks, but due to certain restrictions in how the tests may be ordered, the Pixel test will not be available in New York, New Jersey, Maryland or Rhode Island.

It’s not the answer to our testing issues, but it’s a start.

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For the top questions people have been asking about the coronavirus, visit cbsnewyork.com/max, and go to facebook.com/cbsnewyork to submit your question.