The University of Illinois received big news this morning, that will help ion the fight against COVID-19.
Governor J.B. Pritzker announced today the U of I’s saliva based COVID-19 test has received emergency approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The test is part of the SHIELD Program and the U of I has already tested more than 50 thousand students and college staff. University President Tim Killeen says the news of the approval is groundbreaking.
“The pioneering saliva based testing developed by out leading edge researchers in Urbana produces rapid results and permit large scale surveillance testing. That combination is a key to curbing the virus.”
Killeen says the test is especially useful in identifying carriers who show no symptoms and are unknowingly spreading the virus. The state and the U of I are working to offer the saliva test at other colleges with the goal to make it available at K through 12 schools, long term care facilities and more.
Pritzker says the test is cheaper and quicker, and he says the state of Illinois will be it’s biggest customer.
“This development by the University of Illinois is truly going to have the effect of fast testing, fast results and isolating people faster and contact tracing. All those things have an enormously positive effect.”
Pritzker says production of the test should also be faster since it requires less materials to make than the nasal swab test currently does.