New Coronavirus Saliva Test Called "Game-Changer"

Workers wearing personal protective equipment gather COVID-19 tests administered in Los Angeles
Photo credit Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The speed and accuracy of COVID-19 testing has been a major issue during this pandemic.

A new saliva-based test being deployed on the front lines appears to fit the bill.

Health experts say the saliva test is more scalable and decreases contact between patients and health care workers.

"How people are determining accuracy, with respect to the false negative (coronavirus test), one day I had a headache (and) I tested negative," Brooks said. "Now, I have a headache and a sore throat the next day, I tested positive. Was is the test? (It is) likely not."

If you’ve been tested, you know a saliva swab would be a welcome alternative to the nasal method, a more invasive test used to collect a bodily fluid sample.

The FDA has granted emergency use authorization to the Rutgers RUCDR Infinite Biologics initiative and its collaborators for a new collection approach that utilizes saliva as the primary test biomaterial for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. #RutgersImpact

— Rutgers University (@RutgersU) April 13, 2020

The first testing site opened in New Jersey on Wednesday following the Food and Drug Administration’s emergency authorization for the method.