FDA Approves New Saliva Based COVID-19 Test
With the success of the NBA's bubble, the sports world gained hope for the return of other leagues and sports. The FDA has now officially announced a saliva-based test that's being funded, in part by the NBA and the Player's Association.
The new test, also known as SalivaDirect, has been developed by researchers at Yale University. It is designed to expedite the process of COVID-19 testing with results being available in hours.
Although the research has been funded between the NBA and the Player's Association, they still have used the traditional nasal swabs for testing. However, the research that was done on the new style of testing yielded substantial results; the saliva test almost perfectly matched the nasal swabs according to ESPN.
Nathan Grubaugh (a senior author of the SalivaDirect study) is quoted as saying,
"My goal is not to test athletes," Grubaugh said. "That's not my target population. My target population is everybody."
This new way of testing also serves as a cost-effective alternative to the traditional test with it being reported that it would cost patients anywhere from $15-$20. This is also significantly lower than the previous FDA approved saliva test developed at Rutgers that costed patients $60-$150.
With the NBA playoffs beginning, players and team personnel/ staff members will soon be making their way home to their respective markets due to elimination. They won't be as highly secured and isolated from the rest of the world, but with this new testing method this can offset any delays of the 2020-2021 season with faster results and cheaper materials that produce the same accuracy.