Miami Beach Wants to Bring New Saliva Test to South Florida

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A Miami Beach commissioner is trying to bring the first FDA-approved saliva test for coronavirus to South Florida.

"It's essential that our people get back to work, that our city gets back to normal," said Commissioner Ricky Arriola. "And testing is part of that solution."

The test, developed by a Rutgers University lab, was touted by the White House earlier this week. This saliva test by Vault Health is in-home. After receiving the kit, the patient sends the test tube in the mail. Using tele-health, via Zoom, a medical professional watches the patient complete the process and seal the kit before it goes in the mail.

Tons of businesses and cities like Miami Beach want the tests immediately as a necessary step to get back to normal.

Each week, Miami Beach loses $3.6 million in revenue.

When Arriola learned that his friend is brothers with the test distributor, he made a call.

"We worked with Rutgers University genomics lab to put a new test on the market that allows individuals to come online, register with three simple questions and have your doctors prescribe a test that is overnighted," said Jason Feldman, the CEO of Vault Health.

The same saliva tests are already being used in New Jersey, where people sat in long lines, but Vault Health makes it possible to take the test from home using telemedicine.

"We’re very excited that the city of Miami Beach has been amongst the most proactive cities that reach out to ask for help and get us in there to help their residents to get going," Feldman said.

The cost of the test, with no profit, is $150. But under the law, it should be free, so Vault Health is also working with insurance providers and businesses to make it accessible to as many people as possible.

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