Big Island Coronavirus Updates

FDA Approves COVID-19 Saliva Test

August 17, 2020, 7:30 AM HST
* Updated August 17, 1:39 AM
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Coronavirus testing could soon become considerably more comfortable.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency authorization for a saliva test, which could eventually replace the invasive nasal swab method widely used across Hawai‘i and the nation.

Another plus for the new test is that it may help alleviate a backlog in testing, as experts say it could allow widespread testing on a quicker timeline. The tests have a turnaround time of fewer than three hours and cost about $10 each. It could be several weeks, however, before the tests are bountifully available nationwide.

Hawai‘i is among the worst states in the nation statistically for coronavirus spread rate, as thousands of cases have been identified in August alone. The state passed 5,000 total cases Sunday after 220 more positive tests were filed across all islands.


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