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University of Florida offers saliva testing for COVID-19

Published: Sep. 22, 2020 at 7:59 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The University of Florida will be offering another method to get tested for COVID-19.

UF Health Screen, Test and Protect Initiative began offering saliva coronavirus testing for UF students, faculty, and staff.

The director of the initiative, Dr. Michael Lauzardo, said the nasal swabs can be a barrier for some.

For the saliva test, people will be given a tube with a straw and provide two cubic centimeters of saliva.

That amounts to less than half a teaspoon.

“What you trade for comfort you have to give up in a little more time to collect the saliva that way but again many people that I meet are happy to make that exchange,” Lauzardo said. “This just gives people a choice of one over the other for comfort and increase our ability to get more people willing to be tested.”

Lauzardo said the turnaround time of the results for the saliva testing is the same as testing with nasal swabs which is about 24 to 48 hours.

“The real difference is just the method in which we collect the specimen but the same test is run afterwards,” he said.

Lauzardo explained that saliva testing and nasal swab testing will both be offered as options because COVID-19 can be tested through the saliva and through nasal swabs but the flu can not be tested through the saliva so the nasal swabs will be needed just in case.

He said he plans to keep the nasal swab available for doing more in-depth evaluations.

Here is a link to a related article:

University of Florida offers saliva swabs for COVID-19 testing

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The University of Florida is making COVID-19 testing easier and more comfortable. The UF Health Screen, Test & Protect initiative on Saturday began offering saliva coronavirus testing for UF students, faculty and staff, a method of detecting the virus that is expected to largely replace nasal swabs that are inserted deep into noses.

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