Earlier this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the use of a faster and easier tests for the coronavirus. The tests are saliva tests that can get results back within 24 hours.
These new tests are thought to be about 90-percent as accurate as other tests using nose and throat swabs. Developers are hoping 200,000 samples a day could be processed.
The NBA played a big role in helping bring these tests to the market. Before checking into their bubble in Orlando, some players and staff volunteered to give saliva samples along with the nose and throat tests.
When the results came back, the scientists and researchers at Yale University found their results worked as well as the standard tests for COVID-19. The University of South Carolina also announced its salvia tests for COVID-19, as it reopened for classes on Wednesday.
The tests will be free for students, faculty and staff, according to a release from the university on Tuesday. Right now, South Carolina is the only school in the state to receive state certification for the salvia tests and is one of a handful of universities in the country that have been approved.
Obviously, those tests have not reached Clemson, but head coach Dabo Swinney says he has spoken with his team doctors about the test and he knows this is the kind of breakthrough everyone has needed, especially the smaller schools who have had a hard time funding the traditional nose and throat swabs tests.
“I think it is awesome. It is cheaper, which is great for everybody, but it is quicker,” the Tigers’ head coach said when asked about it on Tuesday. “I think it is a quicker turnaround. That is huge. That is really, really big. I know some of these schools are maybe in a bind and can’t afford the type of testing that we can here in this league.
“So, hopefully, that will be very beneficial to everyone out there and maybe help us to continue to have a season.”
Last weekend, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency authorization to allow public use of a salvia-based test developed by Yale and funded by the NBA Players Association. The cost of the test per sample could be as low as $4, but the cost to consumers will likely be around $15 to $20, according to ESPN.
Rutgers University also developed a test back in April, which several NBA teams are still using in the bubble. The cost of the Rutgers’ tests ranges from $60 to $150. The results for the Rutgers test usually take 24 to 48 hours to get back.
College football coaches and athletic administrators are hopeful the new saliva tests will help those schools continue to have a football season this fall.
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