The New York Times looks at a Massachusetts fire department’s use of Thermo Fisher Scientific’s newly available airborne pathogen monitor, which is made to be easily used by hospitals and other healthcare facilities to detect COVID-19 in the air. 

It was proof of concept for Thermo Fisher Scientific’s AerosolSense Sampler, which the company was making publicly available on Wednesday. The device, the company says, can be used to detect a variety of airborne pathogens, including the coronavirus. It could be deployed in hospitals, offices, schools and other buildings to monitor for signs of the virus as society begins to reopen.

The AerosolSense, which will sell for $4,995, is not the first air sampler capable of capturing the coronavirus; scientists have used several other models to study the pathogen over the past year. But the new device appears to be simpler and more accessible, experts said.

“I’m not sure that there’s anything else on the market that’s as easy to use,” said Linsey Marr, an expert in airborne viruses at Virginia Tech. “This will enable collection of air samples by almost anyone.”

Read more in the New York Times

Featured image: Thermo Fisher Scientific’s AerosolSense Sampler will allow hospitals to easily detect airborne pathogens like COVID-19. (Courtesy: Thermo Fisher Scientific)