Los Angeles mayor wants DIY coronavirus kit

Current testing kits rely on laboratories to process samples and typically takes day or weeks to return results.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti listens as California Governor Gavin Newsom speaks in front of the hospital ship USNS Mercy that arrived into the Port of Los Angeles on Friday, March 27, 2020, to provide relief for Southland hospitals overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Carolyn Cole-Pool/Getty Images)

Los Angeles mayor, Eric Garcetti, is promoting the concept of low-cost, do-it-yourself (DIY) coronavirus kits.

Garcetti has teamed up with health experts, bioscience executives, government leaders, and philanthropists to create DIY kits that do not require lab equipment or special instruments.

READ MORE: California surpasses New York state in confirmed virus cases

The at-home COVID-19 testing kits would allow real-time detection. Current testing kits rely on laboratories to process samples and typically take days or weeks to return results, according to Reuters.

“If we get this right, we could be doing as many as a million tests a week using paper strip testing just here in Los Angeles,” Garcetti said.

The DIY kits could be the best option to stop the spread of the virus, according to advocates like Michael Mina, a Harvard University epidemiologist.

“This is something we can actually do at warp speed,” Mina said. He also mentioned that these tests could be produced for as little as $1 a piece.

A healthcare worker gives a girl a throat swab test at a drive-in coronavirus (COVID-19) testing center at M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi School of Islamic Sufism on August 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. California reported 12,500 new cases after backlogged cases from a data glitch began appearing in the state’s system. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

READ MORE: California reports record high number of coronavirus deaths

For COVID-19 screening, the gold standard of testing is called a polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, test, which looks for traces of viral genetic material, Reuters reported.

Experts say quick and simple kits cannot meet this gold standard, and are generally prone to false-negative results.

As theGrio previously reported, California is currently the state with the most coronavirus cases.

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