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University Of Illinois COVID Saliva Test Approved By FDA

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for the covidSHIELD saliva test developed at the University of Illinois

It was used on U of I campuses "to hold the virus in check by utilizing widespread testing with rapid results."

Under the guidelines, the University of Illinois system can expand the covidSHIELD test to other colleges and universities.

"The University of Illinois has been a national leader in innovation for decades, and the campus' groundbreaking work to develop rapid, saliva-based COVID-19 testing is but the latest example of that tradition," said Governor J.B. Pritzker. "Widespread testing remains a critical tool in combating this pandemic, and I'm dedicating $20 million in CARES Act funding to provide one million tests to Illinois' other public universities under the FDA's emergency use authorization."

RELATED: An Exclusive Look At The 'Game Changing' Saliva COVID Test Developed At The University Of Illinois

The $20 million in CARES Act funding released by Pritzker will provide a million tests across Illinois' 12 public universities and 48 community colleges, under an agreement between the Illinois Department of Public Health and the U of I System.

"Today's EUA is a game changer in our efforts to combat COVID-19 across Illinois and the United States," said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). "When the pandemic struck, the University of Illinois answered the call — and this rapid, low-cost saliva-testing program could be the key to dramatically expanding our testing infrastructure. I'm proud to stand with the remarkable work of U of I's scientists and researchers, and I'm thankful for their efforts to improve our public health."

U of I System President Tim Killeen said the system is eager to share its test.

"We were created to serve the needs of our state and our nation – to help steer through challenges and lead the way to progress," Killeen said. "It is a role we have filled with distinction during the COVID-19 crisis, and this expansion of our breakthrough saliva-based testing will be a real game changer, protecting lives and livelihoods."

According to the University of Illinois, covidSHIELD has drawn interest since it was launched at the university in 2020.

As of now, the U of I System has administered more than 1.5 million tests at its universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, and Springfield.



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