Coronavirus testing: UC Berkeley starts trials for COVID-19 saliva tests

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- UC Berkeley researchers announced Tuesday that they've started trials of a saliva test for COVID-19.

It allows people to spit into a tube, which is far less invasive than the nasal swab.

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The samples would then be analyzed at a pop-up lab with results available within five days.

The test would allow them to identify asymptomatic students and employees and isolate them in quarantine.

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"When students come back we want to make sure they're not bringing in more virus to our community, Berkeley doesn't just exist as a University," UC Berkeley graduate student Alexander Ehrenberg said.

"We live in a local Bay Area community and we have to make sure we're protecting them. So its key that we're testing those students when they come back," he said.

If all goes well, the researchers hope to submit an application for an Emergency Use Authorization to the FDA, which would allow the test to be used clinically.

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