CORAL SPRINGS, FL – The city’s police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians will be among the first in the nation to be tested with a new coronavirus kit that will determine if they are sick within 15 minutes, the city’s medical director said Tuesday.

Dr. Peter Antevy said Coral Springs’ first responders who are showing signs of coronavirus sickness will be tested through the new blood-based test, instead of the widely used nasal- and throat-swab test whose results can take days to determine.

The City of Coral Springs has purchased 2,500 FaSTEP test kits manufactured by Assure Tech. They are expected to arrive early next week and will immediately be used to test ailing first responders, Dr. Antevy said.

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Once test results are in, public safety administrators will make decisions on who should get back to work and who may need to get further confirmatory testing, Dr. Antevy said. Multiple tests can be done days apart to help improve accuracy.

In other words, he said, the goal is to confirm that sick employees are indeed sick from the coronavirus and then get them quarantined, treated and hopefully back at work soon.

“We want our employees staying at work and protecting the city and our residents,” he said.

Dr. Antevy said the test is widely available around the world and it’s shown good results in helping “get people back to work and keep others safe.” The test, though, hasn’t been used much in the U.S., but is now becoming available due to a fast-track waiver by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

It will eventually be available to the public at pharmacies and other places, he said.