The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for the first at-home saliva COVID-19 test on Friday. 

The new test will allow people to collect their own saliva and send their samples to a lab for results. COVID-19 testing usually involves swabbing the nose or throat. 

Andrew Brooks, chief operating officer and director of technology development at the RUCDR Infinite Biologics lab, told CNN, “What’s new and next is expanding access to testing for people.”

“If people are committed to do self-collection and can facilitate that collection at home, certainly with a prescription under medical care, we can get to those that are quarantined, don’t have the means for transportation or are too scared to go outside,” Brooks said. “So they get the test in the mail or from a distribution center.”

FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said,  “Authorizing additional diagnostic tests with the option of at-home sample collection will continue to increase patient access to testing for COVID-19. This provides an additional option for the easy, safe and convenient collection of samples required for testing without traveling to a doctor’s office, hospital or testing site.”

“We will continue to work around the clock to support the development of accurate and reliable tests, as we have done throughout this pandemic,” Hahn said. “The FDA has authorized more than 80 COVID-19 tests and adding more options for at-home sample collection is an important advancement in diagnostic testing during this public health emergency.”

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