ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMIZ)
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson along with state and university officials, as well as, one of the state's congressional leaders spoke in St. Louis Thursday afternoon going over a new saliva-based COVID-19 test.
Washington University's head of genetics said the test it co-developed was 100-percent accurate compared to current nasal tests.
The governor's office said in a news release this week that the test was recently received emergency approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Watch the governor's full briefing in the player below.
Washington University Department of Genetics director Dr. Jeffrey Milbrandt said the test is expected to have results available within 24 hours.
Milbrandt included the university worked with a California-based company, Fluidigm, and others based in St. Louis to develop the test and supplies.
According to the Fluidigm website, as many as 6,000 test results could come back each day. Milbrandt said the test will "greatly increase testing and repetitive testing."
People taking the test just have to provide a saliva sample by spitting into a test tube.
In a news release, Washington University said the new test is a "simpler, faster and more economical test that can greatly expand our ability to detect the level of COVID-19 infection within the community via large-scale population screening."
Milbrandt said the saliva test will not have the same supply chain issues that other tests have had. He included the test could accommodate other, future viruses.
Increase in COVID-19 cases among college-aged state residents
The governor started Thursday's briefing by addressing a recent spike in COVID-19 cases among college-aged people across the state.
Parson said state residents in the 18-24 age range have added to increasing positivity rates across the state since schools and universities started recently.
He included as more members of that group are testing positive, fewer are being sent to the hospital.
State residents between the ages of 10 and 24 accounted for more COVID-19 cases than any other group, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services website.
As of Thursday, 20,371 in that age range have tested positive for COVID-19 accounting for more than one-fifth of the state's total cases.
The University of Missouri said on its COVID-19 tracking website that 762 students have tested positive for coronavirus. The website said 516 students actively had COVID-19.
MU added 70 new cases over the last 24 hours, according to the website.
Parson asked citizens to social distance, wear a mask and wash their hands.
Sen. Blunt on protocols for COVID-19 vaccine
US Sen. Roy Blunt (R - Mo.) spoke about developing protocols for COVID-19 vaccines which are still being developed.
The congressional leader said he has asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for guidance on when and how vaccines will be administered once vaccines are available.
The CDC said the plan for how the vaccine will be distributed and allocated will be available in November, Blunt said.
"It would be foolish to have a vaccine with no distribution plan," Blunt said.
The US senator also addressed risks taken by the government to produce multiple vaccines.
Blunt said the federal government has invested in eight different vaccines which are all still in the trial process.
He said the main risk being taken on by the government is investing in a vaccine that may not be approved.
The senator insisted vaccines approved for COVID-19 will be just as safe as other vaccines currently approved in the country.