University is developing a cheaper, faster COVID-19 test

PHOENIX — As the number of Arizonans who have contracted COVID-19 has raced past 100,000, testing for the novel coronavirus that causes the respiratory disease has become a priority. Some of that testing now is being done through saliva, a process that’s easier and less expensive.

Arizona’s first saliva test – designed by scientists at Arizona State University to make university-wide testing feasible in the fall – already has been administered to more than 6,000 people, according to Vel Murugan, an associate research professor at ASU’s Biodesign Institute. It’s an alternative to nasopharyngeal swabs, which are uncomfortable and can be dangerous to frontline workers.

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