NBA partners with Yale researchers for saliva-based coronavirus testing
The NBA will assist Yale researchers on a study concerning COVID-19 testing via saliva. Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

NBA partners with Yale researchers for saliva-based coronavirus testing

The NBA has offered its assistance to Yale researchers who are studying a saliva-based COVID-19 testing method.

"The NBA is pleased to partner with the Yale School of Public Health to support this important study," said John DiFiori, NBA director of sports medicine. "We’re hopeful that our contributions to this work will help to advance the research in the interest of broadly accessible and minimally invasive testing."

Yale School of Public Health researchers are studying the effectiveness of SalivaDirect, a "non-invasive" testing method that could reduce the cost of testing, as well as reducing testing times by more than an hour. The researchers will be testing some NBA players and coaches as a part of the initial testing, with the results of the study expected to be ready by the end of July.

"In talking to our partners at the NBA, we heard that in addition to finding less-invasive testing solutions for players and staff, there is a strong desire on their part to give back to the public and especially help low-income communities, so it became immediately clear that our interests were aligned," Yale's Nathan Grubaugh said.

Researchers are aiming to have the SalviaDirect testing approved by the FDA so they can begin widespread testing for the general public. Joe Rogowski, the National Basketball Players Association's chief medical officer, noted the partnership with Yale offers "the potential for players to have an alternative method of testing within the NBA campus in Orlando, but more importantly, it allows them to leverage their regular testing to make a larger contribution to public health in the fight against this virus."

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