If anyone knows how to test for COVID-19, it's scientists from Tumi Genomics in Boulder.
- Now to the latest COVID numbers in our state. The state is reporting 374 more cases today. The state's seven day positivity rate is down to 2.59 percent. 411 people are in the hospital with COVID-19 statewide and 4 percent of Colorado's population is now fully immunized. And by now we all know how uncomfortable those PCR COVID tests can be but you might not know they're also expensive.
Here in the US most of us have been lucky enough that someone else has picked up the tab but that's not the case in underdeveloped countries. Michael Abeyta talked to a startup company in Boulder that's trying to give greater access to a new type of COVID test. So Michael, how does it work?
MICHAEL ABEYTA: Well, [? Mekelle ?] it's actually pretty simple. The test subject spits into a test tube. That sample is heated up. And depending on what color their sample glows well that determines whether they have COVID or not. If anyone knows how to test for COVID, it's these Boulder scientists.
- And we've been testing for COVID for about a year now.
MICHAEL ABEYTA: And they say COVID is still a global threat here. In the United States it seems like COVID is kind of winding down, but in a lot of countries access to vaccines and testing is really limited. That's why they created COVID glo. A test that starts with the subject spitting into a test tube.
- Saliva's added to a reaction and what happens in the reaction is that it finds parts of the viral genome and it amplifies that until it becomes actually visible.
MICHAEL ABEYTA: Green means you don't have the virus but red or orange means you do.
- And the entire task can be completed in about 45 minutes and it doesn't require any special equipment. You don't need to be a scientist, there's no pipettes, no tips nothing like that.
MICHAEL ABEYTA: Which makes the cost of each test very affordable and the turnaround time for results much quicker than a PCR test. Perfect for people living in developing nations who don't have a lot of income or may live in remote areas.
- We need to make a test that puts the power back in the hands of the individuals that need to know the answer.
MICHAEL ABEYTA: But before they can do anything, they need approval from the FDA. That's why they were out Sunday at a Boulder fire station collecting results for their final trial. Hopefully soon they can distribute their tests throughout the world and then move on to using their tech to start detecting other diseases quickly and affordably.
- What we've created is a diagnostic platform and COVID is just the beginning.
MICHAEL ABEYTA: Now, they're still looking for volunteers to be tested, to be a part of that latest trial. If you'd like to help out go to cbsdenver dot com. We'll post a link to the website where you can sign up in Boulder Michael Abeyta covering Colorado first.