Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency-use approval for a credit card-sized, rapid-response Covid-19 test made by Abbott Laboratories.
Norwegian Cruise Lines Executive Vice President Howard Sherman said its an exciting and important step forward, "Not only for the cruise industry and the travel industry but really for all of us as we return to normalcy. Whether its students going back to school, people going back to work, or people traveling around the world, we need rapid and affordable testing that is available to all so we know we are safe and the people around us are safe."
Sherman said he felt the cruise industry is on track to return to Alaska in 2021. They recently joined with Royal Caribbean to develop health and safety protocols so cruise ships can return safely.
"I fully expect to be cruising into Alaska next year," he added.
According to a report in Forbes, the new rapid response test could help to meet the need to ramp up testing to contain the disease in the U.S.
Abbott said it plans to ship tens of millions of tests this September and will be able to ramp up production to 50 million tests in October.
The test, which is roughly the size of a credit card, can be performed by doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and medical assistants, and delivers results in 15 minutes.