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F.D.A. Paves Way for Home Testing of Coronavirus

In a move that could significantly expand the nation’s testing capacity, the Food and Drug Administration has posted new guidelines that could pave the way for millions of people to test themselves for the coronavirus at home.

The guidelines allow companies to develop and market testing kits with the tools to swab their noses and mail the specimens to any lab in the country.

Access to tests has been improving, but nationwide testing shortages continue to hamper the ability of health authorities to identify and isolate people who are infected.

The F.D.A. said it hoped the new guidelines, posted on its site on Wednesday

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F.D.A. Clears First Home Saliva Test for Coronavirus

The test kit was developed by a Rutgers University laboratory, called RUCDR Infinite Biologics, in partnership with Spectrum Solutions and Accurate Diagnostic Labs. Rutgers received F.D.A. permission last month to collect saliva samples from patients at test sites but can now sell the collection kits for individuals to use at home. They will cost about $100 each, Rutgers said, and must be ordered by a physician.

“A patient can open the kit, spit into the tube, put the cap back on and ship it back to our lab,” said Dr. Andrew Brooks, chief operating officer and director of technology development at RUCDR.

Dr. Brooks said the tests should be used only by people who have Covid-19 symptoms. His lab can process 20,000 tests each day, with a 48-hour turnaround, but he expects other labs to adopt it for their own use.

The spit tests are part of a rapid emergency

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What’s a Pulse Oximeter, and Do I Really Need One at Home?

After working for 10 days at Bellevue Hospital in New York, Dr. Richard Levitan decided to share what he had learned about Covid-19. Too many patients were showing up at the hospital with perilously low oxygen levels, putting them at risk for severe complications and death.

But a simple home gadget called a pulse oximeter could help alert patients to seek help sooner, he said.

“In the hospital, when I’m trying to decide who I send home, a big part of the criteria is ‘What is your oxygen? What is your pulse?’” said Dr. Levitan from his home in New Hampshire, where he just finished self-quarantine as a precaution. “With a pulse oximeter and a thermometer, Americans can be prepared and be diagnosed and treated before they get really, really sick.”

Health officials are divided on whether home monitoring with a pulse oximeter should be recommended on a widespread basis

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When Mental Distress Comes Home

The panic spirals up from somewhere in Connor Langan’s midsection, and so quickly that his face changes; wild in the eyes, his upper lip trembling, he sometimes punches a wall in frustration. Such episodes resulted in Connor, 17, being placed on leave from high school late last year, and in early March he agreed to enroll at Mountain Valley, a New Hampshire residential program well known for addressing anxiety problems in young people.

But on March 27, in response to the growing threat of coronavirus, the facility temporarily suspended operations and began sending home some two dozen teenagers and young adults. The facility’s therapists have set up virtual connections to continue providing support for some individuals, but the change was abrupt for everyone.

“The night before I had this panic attack, almost a full-on psychosis, and the next day I really wanted to talk about it,” said Connor, who is

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