NIC Notes

Insights in Seniors Housing & Care


By: NIC  |  August 20, 2020

COVID-19 Testing Method Discussed in NIC Leadership Huddle Gains FDA Approval


Late last month, NIC’s Leadership Huddle webinar, “From Pro Sports to Senior Care: Innovations in Testing, Tech, and Protection,” offered a glimpse into the future of COVID-19 testing with a discussion of the saliva-based test under development at Yale University and funded by the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week issued an emergency use authorization approval allowing public use of the test.

While very different in terms of scope, demographics, access to resources, and scale, the NBA has faced some of the same challenges that senior living operators face today and their methods to curtail the spread of the virus among players and staff are proving successful. Frequent testing, that’s affordable and delivers more rapid results, has been a key part of the strategy.

Saliva Testing Provides Rapid Results

The FDA early use authorization approval will allow labs to begin using the test more widely. The hope is that labs across the country will soon provide saliva tests at scale. Leadership Huddle speaker Robby Sikka, an anesthesiologist by training and currently VP of Basketball Performance for The Minnesota Timberwolves noted, “This is a cheap, asymptomatic screening test that can be run rapidly.” Without the need for swabs and for more time-consuming lab work, the test would be quick, comfortable, and lower-risk to administer. He claimed the test is “90% sensitive compared to nasal pharyngeal swabs.”

Learn more about the professional sports league’s efforts to contain the virus − including the use of saliva-based testing − and gain insight on the latest developments in testing, wearables, and protocols in this Leadership Huddle Recap on the NIC Notes blog.



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The National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to support access and choice for America’s seniors by providing data, analytics, and connections that bring together investors and providers.

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