New swab material to boost COVID-19 testing process

SEATTLE (AP) — As state and federal leaders develop ways to re-open the country after weeks of a coronavirus shut down, health experts say one thing must happen first — more people need to be tested. But a shortage of the swabs used in the testing kits as well limits on personal protective equipment worn by the people taking the samples has slowed the testing process.  Research by doctors in the Pacific Northwest is helping fill those voids. A study by an infectious disease physician in the Seattle area found that COVID-19 specimens can successfully be taken with a polyester swab, and the sample can be held in saline, as opposed to the nylon swabs and the special transport material currently used.