New all-in-one test promises results for COVID-19, two strains of flu in just 20 minutes

ATLANTA — We all know how important testing is to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, but metro doctors said that’s about to become more challenging as we head into flu season.

But now, there is a new test being offered that can check for COVID-19 and two strains of the flu — and it only takes 20 minutes to get results.

Channel 2 anchor Jovita Moore spoke with Dr. Jamie Phillips with Roche, a pharmaceuticals and diagnostics company, about the test the company has developed.

Phillips said Roche received urgent authorization earlier this year for a single test that will show results for the coronavirus, influenza A and influenza B, all in one sample.

“Why is it important to test for flu and COVID?” Moore asked Phillips.

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“It’s important as we head into flu season because these pathogens are circulating, and they have overlapping clinical symptoms. (It’s important) for health care providers to be able to differentiate between these paths. So this test is all in one, and the results are given within 20 minutes,” Phillips said.

“Can people go to their doctors or go to certain test sites to get this?” Moore asked Phillips.

“It is commercially available but in limited quantities. So Roche, strategically, from the very beginning of the pandemic, we’ve been working hard to get diagnostic tests out to patients. The first test that was approved was a high throughput assay, and this assay is a point-of-care assay, which means that it’s used closer to the patient. So it’s not readily available to everyone. But we are doing what we can to ensure that those health care providers that need a result within 20 minutes,” Phillip said.

Phillips said Roche is working on increasing the number of tests available. You can ask your doctor if they have access to the tests.