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Saliva-based COVID-19 test receives emergency FDA approval

The Seahawks cut rookie Kemah Siverand after he tried to sneak a woman into the team's hotel by dressing her up in team gear.

The NBA and National Basketball Players Association funded the development by Yale University of a saliva-based COVID-19 test. On Saturday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued emergency authorization for public use of the test, known as SalivaDirect.

Designed for widespread public virus screening, Zach Lowe of explains that it likely will cost $15 to $20 for consumers.

Working with the NBA, Yale used the saliva test in conjunction with the nasal swab test, and the results “almost universally matched,” Lowe explains.

The saliva sample still must be sent away to a lab for testing. Ideally, someone eventually will develop a highly accurate saliva-based point-of-care test that will allow consumers to test themselves and secure the results at home, in minutes not hours.

To get to that point, however, the upper reaches of the federal government will first have to come to terms with the fact that more testing will result in more cases being detected and reported and counted.