Identifying SARS-CoV-2 infections through aggressive diagnostic testing remains critical to tracking and curbing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic . Collection of nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS), the preferred sample type for SARS-CoV-2 detection, has become difficult due to the dramatic increase in testing and consequent supply strain . Therefore, alternative specimen types have been investigated that provide similar detection sensitivity with reduced health care exposure and the potential for self-collection . In this study, the detection sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 in nasal swabs (NS) and saliva was compared to that of NPS using matched specimens from two outpatient cohorts in New York State (total n = 463). The first cohort showed only a 5.4% positivity, but the second cohort (n = 227) had a positivity rate of 41%, with sensitivity in NPS, NS, and saliva of 97.9% , 87.1%, and 87.1%, respectively . Whether the reduced sensitivity of NS or saliva is acceptable must be assessed in the settings where they are used . However, we sought to improve on it by validating a method to mix the two sample types, as the combination of nasal swab and saliva resulted in 94.6% SARS-CoV-2 detection sensitivity . Spiking experiments showed that combining them did not adversely affect the detection sensitivity in either . Virus stability in saliva was also investigated, with and without the addition of commercially available stabilizing solutions . The virus was stable in saliva at both 4°C and room temperature for up to 7 days . The addition of stabilizing solutions did not enhance stability and, in some situations, reduced detectable virus levels.