By Max Nisen | Bloomberg
The U.S. woke up to its first good coronavirus testing news in a while Friday, after weeks of hearing about nothing but delays and dangerously inadequate capacity.
The Food and Drug Administration announced an emergency authorization of a Roche Holding AG test that can screen patients substantially faster than existing options. It’s good news for Roche — the approval sent shares some 7% higher after a mostly down week — as well as for America’s COVID-19 response. Once these tests are up and running, they should begin to help the U.S. catch up on a dangerous backlog and give more people the information and care they need.
Unfortunately, the country’s inability to test enough people for weeks has contributed to an outbreak that is likely to grow substantially in the weeks to come and won’t be contained any time soon. We don’t just need more lab tests; other important tools we don’t have now — including so-called serologic tests and on-site diagnostics — could play a vital role in helping to better gauge the size of the outbreak and control its spread.