Senators praise saliva tests for Covid-19 being developed in CT


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Some big breakthroughs to fight Covid-19 are happening right here in Connecticut. On Tuesday, our senators stopped in New Haven and Guilford to see some of the cutting edge tests and drugs.

These are just some of the Yale scientists working on the “Saliva Direct” Covid-19 test. It is being described as less expensive and invasive than nose swab tests and gives results faster.

The test was developed in a partnership between Yale University and the NBA, with the league and player’s union giving more than half a million dollars to help fund its development. It’s being used in the NBA bubble.

Lawmakers visited Yale praising the test.

RELATED: Yale’s saliva-based COVID-19 test receives FDA authorization for emergency use

“The kids going back to school right now could be tested with Saliva Direct in a way that would afford results within hours rather than days,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal.

For now the saliva test has FDA emergency use authorization, but a widespread use would have many positives.

“That can allow us to reopen our schools and reopen our economy with much more confidence than we can today,” said Senator Chris Murphy.

Senator Murphy then toured the Rothberg Institute and learned about the therapeutic drug by AI Therapeautics, and the rapid saliva “home” test, both from companies founded by scientist Jonathan Rothberg.

Related: Guilford scientist’s timely, inexpensive home COVID-19 test now in trials

Murphy says our state is on the forefront of developments awaiting possible FDA approval.

“It’s really exciting to be able to hear what’s happening here and to try to make sure that we get the approvals in Washington that they need, and also we get some funding,” said Murphy.

And Senator Murphy says that while much of the focus has been on vaccines, therapies will also play a key role in fighting the deadly coronavirus.

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