New saliva test for Covid-19 to be trialled this week

By Francesco Tamilia - Integrated Care Journal

A new and non-invasive coronavirus test is set to be trialled this week in Southampton, the Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed today.

Participants will be able to complete the coronavirus test at home every week by putting their saliva into a sample pot to be tested for the virus. Thousands of general practice and university staff, other key workers and their households will participate in the first phase of the trial.

Participants will receive the results back in within 48 hours, which will help to identify coronavirus cases early on, including for those with no or minor symptoms, meaning those who test positive can isolate within their households.

The pilot will be jointly led by Southampton City Council, the University of Southampton and the NHS, alongside a wider network of public services in Hampshire.

Commenting on the news, Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock, said: “Saliva testing could potentially make it even easier for people to take coronavirus tests at home, without having to use swabs. This trial will also help us learn if routine, at-home testing could pick up cases of the virus earlier. ”

Southampton City Council Director of Public Health Debbie Chase confirmed that 800 of Southampton’s GP workforce and their households will take part in the pilot.

The pilot will run for up to four weeks testing people on a weekly basis.

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