The first drive-thru saliva testing for COVID-19 has begun in Edison NJ. The test is the first granted such approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The test will available to county residents at the drive-thru testing facility at 33 Kilmer Road.
Dr. Andrew Brooks, chief operating officer and director of technology development at Rutgers University Infinite Biologics (RUCDR) said in a statement, “The impact of this approval is significant. We no longer have to put health care professionals at risk for infection by performing nasal or throat collections. We can preserve precious personal protective equipment for use in patient care instead of testing.”
“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. This will have a tremendous impact on testing in New Jersey and across the United States.”
With RUCDR doing the analysis, the test can help hospital-based and private physicians assess more accurately the infection status of more patients, said Jay A. Tischfield, the biorepository’s founding CEO and scientific director.
The tests also are available to the RWJBarnabas Health network, including Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick; University Hospital in Newark, and other county health departments.
Middlesex County residents who need to be tested can visit MiddlesexCountyNJ.gov/COVID19testing to register and receive a time to report to the testing site. Registrants must bring the completed registration form and proof of residency.
The FDA approval is the second major announcement in recent days from RUCDR, which also launched a genetic testing service for the coronavirus that can test thousands of samples daily. With the new saliva test, that number may increase to tens of thousands of samples daily.