CORONAVIRUS

Research Shows Saliva Test For COVID-19 As Effective As Nasal Swab Test

Aug 20, 2020, 5:00 PM | Updated: 9:41 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – New research done by teams with University of Utah Health and ARUP Laboratories show saliva testing for COVID-19 is just as effective as the deep nasal swab test many people have had.

“We’re excited based on the results,” said Dr. Kimberly Hanson, an infectious disease physician with University of Utah Health. “We’re able to show with pretty robust confidence that we think in our statistics, that saliva looks to be just as effective as the standard deep swab.”

Their study is based on research involving more than 350 people, who volunteered to be tested at the Redwood Clinic.

It showed COVID-19 was detected in 90% of the patients who truly ended up testing positive for the virus, which doctors said is nearly the same positivity rate as the nasal swab.

“It’s gone through the scientific process, the peer review process, and is now published electronically in a high-quality medical journal, and I think that answers a lot of those concerns about is this really a valid test. It clearly is,” said Dr. Richard Orlandi, chief medical officer with University of Utah Health.

Patients spit into a tube to a designated fill line.

That tube is then capped, sealed and given to the medical worker administering the test.

At this point, even though it’s an easy test, doctors said it’s not one anyone can do at home just yet for quality control concerns.

“At this point, the FDA only authorizes saliva testing if the sample is collected in a healthcare facility or being observed by a healthcare worker,” said Dr. Julio Delgado, chief medical officer with ARUP.

The saliva test is less invasive for patients and safer for healthcare workers collecting the sample.

“Because spitting saliva into a tube is less likely to generate infectious aerosols,” said Hanson. “So, the providers helping to collect the saliva sample may not need to wear all the heavy personal protective equipment that we have them wear for the deeper sampling.”

Test results can be known in eight to 10 hours for high priority patients showing symptoms who may need to be hospitalized.

For people not showing symptoms using drive-thru testing sites, results can generally come back in 24 to 48 hours.

Doctors hope to have the test ready for the public to begin using in Utah in a couple of weeks.

The group’s research test publication can be found here.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus

(KSL-TV)...
Katija Stjepovic

Utah arts and cultural jobs are surging after COVID pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic pulled the curtains on most of Utah's arts and cultural jobs, but after nearly three years, they are reemerging. 
20 hours ago
...
Ashley Moser

Flu, COVID and RSV all trending down for the first time in months, says CDC

Major respiratory illnesses are all trending down for the first time since September, according to the CDC.
15 days ago
FILE PHOTO (Photo by Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)...
Josh Ellis

Utah doctor, others charged with running COVID vaccine scheme, issuing fake records and giving fake shots

A Utah plastic surgeon, his medical corporation and three others have been charged after prosecutors say they issued fake COVID-19 vaccination record cards and injected minors with saline shots.
21 days ago
Dr. Angela Dunn, executive director of Salt Lake County Health Department, left, discusses schoolch...
Michael Houck

Salt Lake County ends its COVID-19 emergency status

After nearly three years, the Salt Lake County Health Department ended its COVID emergency status Tuesday. 
29 days ago
FILE: People line up in their cars as members of the Utah National Guard give COVID-19 swab tests a...
Eliza Pace

Gov. Cox, along with 24 other governors, call on President Biden to end Federal Public Health Emergency

Gov. Spencer Cox signed a letter with 24 other governors calling on President Joe Biden to end the federal public health emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic.
2 months ago
U.S. President Joe Biden welcomes guests to the East Room of the White House on December 14, 2022 i...
ZEKE MILLER, AP White House Correspondent

White House reveals winter COVID-19 plans, more free tests

The Biden administration is again making some free COVID-19 tests available to all U.S. households as it unveils its contingency plans for potential coronavirus surges this winter.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Research Shows Saliva Test For COVID-19 As Effective As Nasal Swab Test