The FDA granted “emergency use authorization” to Cepheid, a California company that makes a rapid molecular test for the coronavirus. Getting results in 45 minutes would be far quicker than the current situation in which tests typically are sent to central reference labs that can take days to deliver results.

The FDA authorization covers “patient care settings,” including doctors’ offices, but initially will be used primarily by hospitals and emergency departments, the company said. It added that it doesn’t require a nasal swab; nasal aspirate can be used.

In a video on the company’s website, David Persing, Cepheid’s chief medical and technology officer, said the test will “help alleviate the pressure” that the covid-19 has placed on health-care facilities. The new test, he said, will help doctors quickly decide which treatment is appropriate for which patients.