The next step would be an at-home saliva test kit that skirts even the need to go to a walk-in center, said Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security.
Dr. Adalja noted that LabCorp, one of the nation’s largest commercial laboratories, now offers an at-home test that people can use to swab their own nose. “If we can do nasal swabs unsupervised, there’s no reason why we can’t do these tests unsupervised as well,” he said.
On April 13, the Food and Drug Administration granted an emergency use authorization, waiving some usual requirements, to a saliva test made by a Rutgers University lab, RUCDR Infinite Biologics.
The Rutgers lab has already processed close to 90,000 tests, according to its chief executive, Andrew Brooks, and expects to ramp up eventually to 30,000 tests per day. Results are available within 72 hours, although they could be sped up to just a few hours with enough infrastructure in place. By contrast, some rapid tests that rely on swabs deliver results in minutes.
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