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New saliva-based COVID-19 could be as accurate as current tests

Gov. Mike Parson.
Office of Gov. Mike Parson
Gov. Mike Parson.


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.

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Brittany Wiley

Brittany Wiley joined ABC 17 News in December 2018 as a full-time reporter. She anchors weekend morning broadcasts and reports in the early evening during the week.

Matt Ragsdale

Matt Ragsdale is a broadcast and digital producer at ABC 17 News.


1 Comment

  1. “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.” At least it would be if it was usefully accurate. Which, if it’s like the other tests, it isn’t. Which means its barely useful at all. Except as a tool to expand the number of CASES, to justify the continued destruction of our economic well being. This psyop is the most fact free we have ever endured. What potential “facts” are put forth are continuously changed, which means they aren’t facts at all, but the published “opinions” of those who stand to profit handsomely from the plandemic. There is an agenda in play, and it has nothing at all to do with our health.

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