FDA clears faster, less expensive saliva test for COVID-19

Coronavirus

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A new COVID-19 test is being considered a game-changer by health experts. They say it’s a faster and inexpensive option to determine whether you have the virus.

Researchers at Yale School of Public Health created the SalivaDirect test and they received emergency-use authorization over the weekend from the FDA. The test can produce results in less than three hours and has the same accuracy as the nasal swab test. And it’s cheap, Yale expects labs to only charge about $10 a sample.

Despite the optimism surrounding this new test, Baystate Health and Mercy Medical Center explained why they won’t be able to do this kind of testing, at least right now.

“We do not have the equipment that is necessary to be able to run that test in our laboratory at Mercy Medical Center in the moment,” Dr. Robert Roose, Chief Medical Officer at Mercy told 22News.

Baystate Health CEO & President Dr. Mark Keroack said, “We always need to look at what’s the true positive rate, true negative rate, the false-negative rate, and something that performs well for mask screening but not something we do in the hospital.”

The emergence of the SalivaDirect test comes as 17 states are performing fewer tests from a week ago.

The NBA is one of the groups that funded research for the new test and they’ve been using it to test for asymptomatic carriers of the virus.

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