Could rapid saliva tests be COVID-19 testing breakthrough?

ABC News’ Devin Dwyer reports on a new rapid saliva swab tests that could help boost testing access nationwide.
3:39 | 04/25/20

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Transcript for Could rapid saliva tests be COVID-19 testing breakthrough?
As some states take steps to reopen the race is on to ramp up testing from corona virus across the country since late January more than four point six million total tests have been performed but some experts say. More than five million test heard today are really needed to safely reopen the economy by summer. Tonight Devin Dwyer takes a closer look at a new type of -- nineteen test that some scientists say could be seen as a bridge to nationwide screening. Some scientists are calling hit a Covert testing breakthrough a supervised but self administered test for corona virus from a sample of your saliva. Experts say if done properly could be as effective and much easier to perform the moves intrusive nasal swabs by medical workers covered in Pete. He eat he think about opportunity around a lot about. Change your game is little risk in eight different at a I consider it. ABC news got an inside look at one new oral fluid corona virus testing lab in the nation's capital. A facility funded by the US air force to test thousands of military personnel. Biotech startup curative flying in the equipment from California. Setting up the lab to test saliva samples in 24 hours or less now allowed will be scanning through 50000 test Saturday. Practicing over the next few weeks right now the military can decks less than 50000 tests per week. The Defense Department calling the thirteen million dollar project a risk reduction alternative to nasal swab tests dean and potentially game changing. We're have the ability to expand our testing them capabilities. To wider military populations. Prioritizing the highest Krista forces and ensuring our strategic mission assurance. If it's successful experts say widespread oral fluid testing could greatly improve surveillance of the corona virus across the US. So we have to change or. Not sting tree isolation. To control the disease does seem certain. So take the swap unpack it. We took the test to try for ourselves. Now cough. And your elbow are deeply three times coughing in the arm to release fluid from the lungs into the mouth. Then Swaby in the mouth for 22 thoughts and make sure your co icing all the places you might have some virus. The swap goes into a tutor a preservative and then sealed in a bag for transport to the lab. The test must be supervised by a clinician but with proper social distance does not require extensive. PP eat there is work to you don't really firm when an approach and were well and he is symptomatic operation. As sort of a general jail ability to see how. Deeper knowledge ginger who is. And did not only us in our try to your room. Saliva testing is already being deployed in New Jersey were Rutgers University is partnered with private health care firms. To rule out the kits at hospitals and try through testing locations. While authorized by the FDA the accuracy of self collected saliva tests in general is still under review. In one study from UCLA oral fluid and nasal swabs specimens performed similarly when detecting covad nineteen. But a third of infected individuals who swapped their mouths without clinical supervision. Registered false negatives. No no test this story we can't get people watch their answer twenty seconds. It's not easy but still showing enormous promise but this may be a long term model for how we could scale opera returned to work after crossing country. For ABC news live I'm Devin Dwyer in Washington.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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