The FDA just approved a home test for Covid-19, which is a Self-Swab. Unlike a swab performed by a health professional, the home test does not require a nasopharyngeal sample, which is is much further up the nasal passages, or in the posterior throat. The home test only requires a mid-nostril swab.
Self swabs make sense for 4 reasons:
1. Reduces the need to expose others. The is probably the biggest reason the FDA agreed to approve this.
2. A self swab will miss a lot of people with Influenze and strep throat, but covid19 likely makes ample viral material in the mid nare region, so this test makes sense to identify this specific pathogen (SARS-Cov-2).
3. It will increase access to testing, which will give us more data about who is and who is not infected. Of course, we will have to rely on individuals to provide accurate and truthful results.
4. A 4th reason to self test is because it is cheaper, though this may not have been part of the FDA’s decision making process.