As Arizona continues to see record Covid-19 infection numbers, experts from various fields are coming up with ways to do their part to help slow the spread.
Arizona State University Biodesign Institute Director Dr. Joshua LaBaer has been working to create a new saliva-based Covid-19 test. The test will be rolled out to businesses or other groups through partnered organizations.
The test only takes a small amount of salvia and is intended to be less invasive than the current test, which involves taking a sample from the nostril. It also takes less time to receive results with this test, as samples only take 24-48 hours to be processed.
The Biodesign Institute said it has been working with Gov. Doug Ducey and his team to make sure everyone is on the same page to try to curtail the surge. A goal of this new test is to get more young people comfortable with the idea of testing, as they are making up most of the new coronavirus cases in the state.
“We stand arm-in-arm with the governor,” LaBaer said during a virtual media briefing on Wednesday. “We are all working together to stop the spread.”
“The rise in younger age groups shows they aren’t getting the message the way they should,” said LaBaer. As of Wednesday, people aged 20-44 make up 50% of all cases in the state, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
When asked whether this test was coming onto the market too late, LaBaer stressed that there is still work to be done to help slow down infections.
“Anything we do to stop the spread helps at this point,” LaBaer said.
As of Wednesday, Covid-19 cases in the state totaled 84,902. Total deaths in the state were 1,720, with 88 new deaths reported on Wednesday.
More information on ASU’s saliva-based test can be found here.