On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration Department granted authorization to Amazon for the at-home SARS-CoV-2 testing kids for emergency use. Following this announcement, Amazon also announced that these Covid-19 testing kits will first be utilized on their employees.
Amazon Gets Emergency FDA Approval for at home COVID-19 Test Kit
The COVID-19 testing kits developed by Amazon permit employees to gather their nasal swabs. Such collection of nasal swabs can be done either under the guidance of a medical practitioner or simply at home. Amazon notified FDA that their main strategy right now is to convince every employee to schedule appointments after every 2 weeks, in which the testing kit will be tested on them.
In case an employee volunteers to use this Amazon kit, they are provided with biohazard bags in which they put their sample, seal it, and then drop it off in the Amazon dropbox. These samples are then sent to the Amazon lab where they are extensively processed.
The Future of Amazon’s At-Home Covid-19 Testing Kits
STS Lab Holdco is a subsidiary of Amazon that developed these COVID-19 testing kits. According to authorization, this COVID-19 testing kit is a modified form of the BGI Genomics rapid test.
There is no update regarding if Amazon intends to introduce this COVID-19 testing kit in its recently announced company of telehealth initiative. Amazon has also not commented if it aims to use these test kits other than its workforce.
How Amazon Is Protecting Its Workers from COVID-19
The workforce of Amazon is quite massive, containing 1.3 million employees. For developing a testing regime for such a large number of workers, Amazon has devoted considerable resources for this regard. There are two diagnostic labs of Amazon for test processing, in California and Kentucky.
In October, it was reported that approximately 20,000 of its workers were COVID-19 positive. This announcement was made after many workers complained through media, that the company was making insufficient efforts to protect its workforce against the COVID-19. In response, Amazon took several steps i.e. providing masks, sanitizing the workplace, and conducting temperature checks other than testing.