VICE President Mike Pence announced a 15-minute coronavirus test that can be done at the doctor's office has been submitted for FDA approval.
If given the green light from the government Food and Drug Administration, the test could be a game-changer for helping identify COVID-19 cases.
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"Good news today on testing – Abbott Laboratory submitted to the FDA today a request for approval of a point-of-care test," Pence said at a Coronavirus Task Force briefing at the White House Thursday.
"This would be the kind of test where you could go to your doctor, you could get the test done there at your doctor and have the test results in no more than 15 minutes."
Coronavirus tests have taken anywhere from several hours to a matter of days before a person knows the results.
As the U.S. surpassed Italy and China to become the number one country for COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the new pending test could be a key to helping identify new cases more rapidly.
"Dr. Steve Hahn will be here tomorrow to talk about progress and evaluating Abbott Laboratories’ point of care test," Pence said of the Commissioner of Food and Drugs.
Pence's announcement came as more than 82,000 coronavirus cases were confirmed in the U.S., with at least 1,178 deaths.
Trump has attributed high coronavirus numbers in the U.S. to the amount of testing being done.
"We’re testing tremendous numbers of people," Trump said at the press briefing.
Pence said across the U.S., 552,000 coronavirus tests have been performed.
Dr. Deborah Birx later added that out of all these tests, only 14 percent are testing positive for the virus.
She said however, that the New York metropolitan area remains the epicenter for cases in America.
Approximately 55 percent of current and new cases that are reported come out of New York and New Jersey, Birx said.
New York has confirmed more than 37,000 cases with at least 385 deaths.
As officials work to enforce social distancing practices and slow the spread, one official has warned that Louisiana could soon become the new epicenter in the U.S.
Louisiana had around 2,305 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, with at least 83 deaths.
As 997 cases came out of New Orleans and surrounding areas, Dr. Rebekah Gee, who is based in Louisiana, said the massive growth puts it “on the trajectory to become the epicenter for the outbreak."
“Mardi Gras was the perfect storm, it provided the perfect conditions for the spread of this virus," she told Reuters of the massive celebration that draws around one million visitors each year.
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