Branford lab gets FDA emergency authorization for coronavirus saliva test for kids 5 and up

BRANFORD — Children as young as 5 can now be tested for COVID-19 simply by spitting into a tube at home.

Wren Labs LLC, which introduced the home-based saliva test in November, has emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration to offer the tests for children 5 years old and older, according to a release.

“We have heard from a number of schools that having a widely available saliva PCR test for children as young as five years-old, who cannot yet be vaccinated, is a game-changer and will help facilitate the nation’s much needed Fall reopening,” said Mark Kidd, Wren’s laboratory director, in the release.

“This ease of saliva PCR testing coupled with high accuracy and ability to detect all currently known variants in asymptomatic and symptomatic people is a key component to instilling peace of mind and getting back to schools and workplaces and other everyday events,” he said.

The company said the PCR test is 99 percent accurate for all known variants of the coronavirus. Children under 12 cannot yet be vaccinated against COVID.

The test kit can be sent to a child’s home, requires a teaspoon or saliva and can then be sent back to the lab. Results can be electronically delivered to schools and workplaces, as well.