On February 11, 2021, the Haute Autorité de Santé announced the deployment of a new screening method for covid-19. Here is what you need to know about these new covid tests which will be implemented as of Monday, February 22, 2021 in schools and could become widespread.
The High Authority for Health has given the green light to start the campaign of new covid-19 tests for people without symptoms. Goodbye nasopharyngeal tests! We tell you everything about these new tests: procedures, time to render results, etc.
Saliva tests rather than nasopharyngeal swabs
"The saliva test is a bit less effective, but it is so much more practical and you can have a coverage rate so much better that it is absolutely worth it", Catherine Hill explained to France Inter, December 15, 2020. Indeed, this test will take saliva, which should be a game changer as nasopharyngeal tests are not a piece of cake. On Saturday February 20, 2021, the Minister of Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, explained that the purpose of these tests is to further encourage young populations to be tested: "With saliva testing, we think almost anyone will be okay with getting tested." This is why, from this Monday February 22, 2021, the saliva test campaign is starting in zone A schools, that is to say those in which classes have already resumed.
Covid saliva test result no faster
However, Olivier Véran, Minister of Health, rejects the idea that "saliva tests give a result in a few minutes", because he esteems them "sensitivity too low". Treated with the RT-PCR technique, it will take a day or two before you get results. However, the CNRS and the company SkillCel have designed a faster saliva test since it allows results to be obtained in 40 minutes. But if, on December 28, 2020, the High Authority for Health recommended the use and reimbursement of this test, it is only "in symptomatic people for whom nasopharyngeal sampling is impossible or difficult to perform". As a reminder, the new saliva tests deployed in schools favor its use in people who do not have symptoms.