To return to something resembling normal life, experts say the U.S. needs frequent, widespread COVID-19 testing — though their suggestions vary, something around one to four million tests daily should suffice.
But the U.S. conducted just 750,000 tests daily in July, and rather than increasing in August, that average is dropping.
Part of the issue is that overwhelmed labs are having trouble quickly processing tests, in part because of shortages of testing supplies. That can lead to delays in results, which come too late to help people quarantine or inform their contacts.
That could be changing, though, thanks to SalivaDirect, a COVID-19 saliva test developed by Yale University, with support from the NBA and the NBA players’ union.
On August 15, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization for the test. And while it’s not the first saliva test for coronavirus — it’s actually the fifth — it could be the one that finally makes widespread, frequent testing possible in the U.S.
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