Professor Nathan Grubaugh, Yale School of Public Health, on New Fda-Approved Saliva Test for Covid-19 He Helped Develop.

August 19, 2020
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If cheap alternatives like SalivaDirect can be implemented across the country, we may finally get a handle on this pandemic, even before a vaccine.

  • Test name: SalivaDirect
  • How it works: You spit into a small container (any container can be used). One estimate: You can get results in a few hours.
  • The test received emergency use authorization by the FDA. It’s one of 5 saliva-tests that have received a green-light.
  • The NBA helped fund this research and used the test on its players, staff.
  • The difference between this test and others? You don’t need to special equipment, for example, a special tube to collect the saliva. It also doesn’t need one reagent or one specific machine to process the test but can use many, making it potentially accessible and cheap to process for both private citizens and labs. Grubuagh says he thinks it will cost labs approx. $10 to process.
  • Why It Matters: Quick COVID-19 tests may be one of the keys to identifying cases, even asymptomatic ones, and slowing transmission rates nationwide. This saliva test and others some of which are available at grocery store pharmacy for you to use at home, allow another option to the uncomfortable nasal swab testing that may take days to get results. If these tests continue to show reliability and quick turnaround, this may make regular testing more possible so Americans feel a greater degree of comfort returning to work, school and play (knowing they themselves don’t have the virus, or friends/family/colleagues don’t).
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by Jenna Lee,