On Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration authorized the individual saliva swab diagnostic test for COVID-19 developed by SUNY Upstate Medical University and Quadrant Biosciences for emergency use. The saliva swab test has been used to conduct testing at all SUNY campuses and this approval allows us to expand the use of the tests statewide. The test will be used as a part of the innovative "pool testing" process, which allows for 10 to 25 samples to be tested for COVID at once. If the entire pool is negative, then all samples are cleared, and if the pool is positive, the samples that make up the batch are individually tested. Pool testing helps labs test more samples more quickly and efficiently.
From the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, it's been clear that testing is one of the most critical tools we have to slow the spread. The more tests performed, the more accurate the infection rate becomes. This saliva swab test is the latest example of New York's relentless focus on testing. At the beginning of the pandemic, we were the first state to receive FDA approval for our COVID-19 test. We will continue to expand testing in every way possible.