At what was his 100th COVID-19 press briefing, Gov. Phil Murphy today announced that RUCDR Infinite Biologics, a unit of Rutgers’ Human Genetics Institute of New Jersey, will provide 30,000 rapid-response saliva-based coronavirus tests per day.
“Having these tests means we now have 30,000 tests a day that come with a 48-hour turnaround. As test turnaround has lagged nationally given the flare ups across the country, this is welcomed news,” Murphy said.
He added that the test kits will be primarily deployed to priority populations including frontline responders and the state’s most vulnerable residents.
“This further builds out our ability to identify potential hotspots and problem areas and to continue our work to further slow the spread of COVID-19,” Murphy said.
In April, Rutgers RUCDR Infinite Biologics received the first FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) enabling the use of saliva tests to detect the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Since then, a revised EUA for an at-home saliva sample collection was also approved.
The benefits of saliva testing according to RUCDR include: contactless sample collection, less risk for healthcare workers, reduced personal protective equipment (PPE) usage, and faster sample collections and testing.
Saliva tests are less invasive than nasal or throat swabs, which makes for a more pleasant experience for those that get tested.
“We’ve seen and reported a lot through these 100 briefings, the good, and the bad,” Murphy said. “Thankfully, this is New Jersey and we know that we are in for many better days ahead.”