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Boulder Scientists Create Quick, Affordable, Pain Free COVID-19 Test

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) - If anyone knows how to test for COVID-19, it's scientists from Tumi Genomics in Boulder. They have been using the traditional PCR test to test people at the University of Colorado Boulder for a year now.

They say COVID-19 is still a global threat.

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"Here in the United States it seems like COVID is really winding down, but in a lot of countries access to vaccines and testing is really limited," said company CEO Tassa Saldi.

That's why they created a new COVID-19 test they call COVIDGlow. It is performed by having a test subject spit into a test tube.

"Saliva is added to a reaction. What happens in the reaction is that it finds parts of the viral genome, and it amplifies that until it becomes actually visible," Saldi explained.

Green means you don't have the virus, but red or orange means you do. Saldi says it can be administered by anyone unlike the traditional PCR test which must be given and tested by scientists.

Plus it is much easier and quicker to perform than a PCR test.

"The entire test can be completed in about 45 minutes, and it doesn't require any special equipment. You don't need to be a scientist, there's no pipettes or tips. Nothing like that," she said.

That makes the cost of each test very affordable and the turnaround time for results much quicker than a PCR test. Perfect for people in developing nations where COVID is spreading who don't have a lot of income or may live in remote areas.

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"We need to make a test that puts the power back in the hands of the individuals that need to know the answer," said Saldi.

Before they can do anything, they need approval from the FDA. That's why they were out Sunday at a fire station in Boulder collecting samples for their final trial. They say hopefully soon they can distribute their test throughout the world, and then move on to using their tech to start detecting other diseases quickly and affordably.

"What we have created is a diagnostic platform, and COVID is just the beginning," said Saldi.

If you would like to volunteer to be tested for COVID-19 for the final trial of COVIDGlow you can sign up.

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