PARAMUS, N.J. -- Bergen New Bridge Medical Center has added COVID-19 saliva testing to its robust testing arsenal which includes the traditional nasal swab and the newly added in-house serology IgG antibody testing.
The Medical Center is working with Accurate Diagnostic Labs and RUCDR Infinite Biologics at Rutgers University, utilizing the Spectrum Solutions’ DNA 1000 Saliva Collection Kit, the first to receive Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) clearance from the FDA to allow for saliva testing.
“The saliva test is a game changer,” said Bergen New Bridge President and CEO Deborah Visconi. “The test is easier on the patient as it no longer requires an uncomfortable nasal or throat swab and it eliminates the need for a healthcare professional in full PPE to have to administer the test, be in close proximity and exposed to respiratory droplets of the patient.” She added, “It also eliminates risk to our front line lab personnel handling the traditional swab testing samples."
Saliva testing, which has shown to be as accurate as the nasal and/or throat swab method, uses a collection device for the patient to quickly spit into. The cap is then placed on by the person providing the sample, which releases the preservation solution into the vial. That person wipes it with a disposable alcohol pad and hands it back to healthcare professional. Results are available within twenty-four to forty-eight hours. All this occurs while mitigating exposure and reducing the use of valuable PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).
“I am pleased that Bergen New Bridge’s clinical affiliation with Rutgers helped the Medical Center to adopt this innovative test in the war against COVID-19,” said Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco, III. “Bergen County and the Medical Center are lockstep with Governor Murphy regarding the need for increased testing in order to responsibly and logically begin to open New Jersey.”
“We are so grateful to all the frontline healthcare workers who are out there every day working hard to treat and protect everyone in Bergen County and the entire region,” said Bergen County Freeholder Chairwoman Mary J. Amoroso.
Tests are ordered exclusively through Bergen New Bridge Medical Center’s telehealth network, Bergen New Bridge Cares, with over 35 physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants who have been working at the center of the COVID-19 pandemic in Bergen County.
Physician telehealth evaluations and testing are by appointment only Monday – Friday via newbridgehealth.org.