On Monday, Rutgers University announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had granted it an emergency use authorization (EUA) for a new coronavirus testing method it developed that uses saliva to test for COVID-19, as opposed to the current practice of testing via nose and throat swabs.
The new saliva collection method would allow for more widespread testing, according to the press release.
"We can significantly increase the number of people tested each and every day as self-collection of saliva is more quick and scalable than swab collections," said Andrew Brooks, chief operating officer and director of technology development at RUCDR, in the press release.
This new collection method was developed by RUCDR Infinite Biologics — the cell and DNA repository at Rutgers — in collaboration with Spectrum Solutions and Accurate Diagnostic Labs.
An at-home collection method would also protect health care workers, who put themselves at risk of infection when collecting nose and throat samples from patients, and help free up personal protective equipment (PPE) for taking care of patients instead of testing.