Norfolk NHS staff amongst first to trial new Covid saliva tests

Frontline NHS staff at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital are among the first to use new saliva tests for coronavirus.

The new rapid tests do not need an additional PCR test to confirm a positive result.  

Up to 35,000 can be analysed at the Earlham Institute in Norwich per week with the results given on the same day. 

The tests will eventually be offered to NHS staff across Norfolk and Waveney instead of lateral flow testing.

Lateral flow tests are easy-to-use nose swabs that provide a coronavirus test result within 30 minutes, without needing a lab's analysis. 

Currently staff take two of these every week, but the saliva tests could be easier to use and more accurate. The saliva tests will need to be analysed by a lab, but scientists say it is a simpler process than that of the PCR test.