|Dear supporters of Rapid Tests,Some of you may have heard the news that the FDA approved SalivaDirect for PCR testing. This is a positive development, but by itself it will fall short of the widespread screening we would need to reopen schools and offices.First the good news: SalivaDirect offers improvements over the type of testing that we’ve currently been doing. It uses saliva, and it speeds up the overall PCR process by removing a burdensome early step.|
While this is a welcome improvement for diagnosis, its impact on public health screening will be limited. With SalivaDirect, tests must be sent to a laboratory, which is bound to create delays and bottlenecks. If we want simple and routine tests before school or office, we need tests that can be immediately read by anyone, without a special laboratory. To get there, we need the FDA to officially recognize the difference between diagnostic tests – which can detect ultra-low levels of viral RNA – and public health tests, which tell you whether you are contagious. Thanks to all of you who have sent letters to your governor and representatives. If you haven’t already, you can do so by visiting rapidtests.org, or by texting RAPID GOV and RAPID CONGRESS to 50409.Thanks also to everyone who has helped promote our page and Facebook group. If you haven’t already, please tell you friends! The more voices we get, the better our chances of making these tests a reality and opening up our schools and offices.