United Airlines Rolling Out COVID-19 Testing Program For Passengers

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Major developments are in the works for rapid COVID testing, which experts say is crucial to reopening the economy safely.

New tests promise to get results back within hours or even seconds, CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez reports.

We’ve said it before — tests that take days or weeks to give a result are useless. Too much spread or infection could happen in the interim.

But companies ranging from Big Pharma to foreign start-ups have made tremendous strides in developing new tests that are simple and fast enough to possibly be used at restaurants, concerts, sporting events and even airports.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

United Airlines is the first airline to roll out a COVID-19 testing program for passengers. Starting Oct. 15, flyers from San Francisco to Hawaii can order an at-home testing kit or reserve a time for a rapid test at the airport. Both require a nasal swab, though not as deep as other tests.

The airport test is $250 and takes 20 minutes. The home version is $80 and returns results within 48 hours.

Quadrant Biosciences and SUNY Upstate Medical School in Syracuse have received FDA emergency use authorization for a less invasive oral saliva swab test. Labs are expected to turn results in six hours.

An Israeli Biotech also uses saliva. The person gargles a solution and spits into a cup that an artificial intelligence chip analyzes for the light spectrum signature of the coronavirus within seconds.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Newsight has partnered with a major supplier of airport security to pilot self-service kiosks at two European airports.

Other airlines, airports and public venues are closely watching the roll-out of these pilot programs, hanging their hopes for a return to some version of normal on fast, accurate and not too costly testing.

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.

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