COVID-19 spit test creator Andrew Brooks is dead

Andrew Brooks (Photo from Nick Romanenko/Rutgers)

Rutgers University research professor Andrew Brooks, who helped create the first saliva-based COVID-19 test, has died unexpectedly.

Brooks, 51, led the creation of the spit test for the coronavirus that received FDA emergency use authorization in April. In tandem with Spectrum Solutions and Accurate Diagnostics Labs, Rutgers University’s RUCDR developed the saliva collection methods as an alternative to nose and throat swabs.

More than four million of the authorized rapid response tests have been performed since March, according to a news release. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy called Brooks one of the state’s “unsung heroes” as the Rutgers test has “undoubtedly saved lives” throughout the pandemic.

“We cannot thank Andy enough for all he did across his career,’’ Murphy said. “He will be sorely missed by many.’’

Brooks served as a resea…

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