Vt. health commissioner concerned about rapid-result tests

Published: Jul. 3, 2020 at 3:54 PM EDT
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Concern from Vermont's top health official about COVID-19 tests that promise you results in minutes.

Dozens were allowed to be used under the FDA's emergency authorization during the spring and they were praised for how quickly they delivered answers.

But in May, the FDA issued a rare public warning against Abbott Laboratories' "point-of-care" COVID tests. They say they were concerned that many of the tests were coming back with false negatives, leading people to go out and infect others.

We wanted to know if Vermont was considering them to cut back on wait times for people here. Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine told us on Wednesday that they're reluctant to move forward with any of the "point-of-care" tests at this point because the FDA is still assessing which ones are actually accurate enough.

"Not all of these tests are passing muster on that criteria. So, we have to be very careful and not just take something that happens to be available and out there and marketed well. But we need to actually make sure it's going to benefit the people who are seeking to use it," Levine said.

He also indicated concerns about a local option for those rapid tests and said he'd be speaking with the entity about them. But he didn't name which one.

Levine did say if a more reliable option were available down the line, the state would consider it.