CORONAVIRUS UTAH

U of U Health Switching To Saliva COVID-19 Tests

Sep 14, 2020, 5:34 PM | Updated: 8:11 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Teams at University of Utah Health are now primarily using saliva COVID-19 tests at five drive-thru sites instead of nasal swab kits.

The saliva test was developed by ARUP Laboratories, a nonprofit enterprise of the University of Utah.

The nasal swab coronavirus tests are widely considered to be uncomfortable, if not painful.

“The big benefit for the person getting the test is they no longer have to have a swab jammed up their nose that far,” said Dr. Adam Barker, director of the ARUP COVID-19 Rapid Response Lab.

He said plenty of people are apprehensive about getting a COVID-19 test because they’ve heard it hurts.

“Now they can go in and they can just simply salivate into a funnel, close the cap off and give it to us, and we’re good,” said Barker.

The saliva test kits can be handed out quickly to patients waiting in cars.

“We think it’s going to make it that much easier for patients to have a test,” said Dr. Richard Orlandi, chief medical officer of ambulatory health for University of Utah Health.

The saliva test is also safer for health care workers, who don’t have to stand around outside in their full PPE.

Right now, they are getting results back to patients in 24 to 36 hours.

“Any barrier that we can remove to getting testing is going to help our community control the coronavirus infection,” said Orlandi.

The saliva test proved to be the equivalent of the nasal swabs, which is considered the gold standard.

They conducted trials by comparing results from saliva tests with those who also tested with the nasal swab, and saliva tests caught five cases the nasal swab did not identify.

“We actually saw a few patients that we would have missed using the gold standard if we weren’t using saliva,” said Barker.

He said ARUP is currently doing 5,000 coronavirus tests a day. Saliva testing will enable the lab to expand to 15,000 by next week.

“We’re going to triple the capacity of what we can currently test,” said Barker.

The lab is also sending more than 10,000 tests a day to ARUP clients across the country.

‘We’re making those as fast as we can and sending them out as fast as we make them,” said Barker.

All U of U Health testing centers have moved to the saliva testing, although they will keep the nasal swab around for those who cannot produce saliva.

The Park City testing site will change to the saliva test in the next few days.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus Utah

FILE: Davis School District....
Mike Anderson

Davis School District adds resources to handle COVID-19

The Davis School District is shifting their approach to COVID, putting more decisions in the hands of parents while getting more funds to help monitor the virus.
7 days ago
...
Ashley Moser

Utah family hasn’t seen father in nearly 1,000 days due to COVID-19 travel restrictions

“None of us were expecting to not see him three years later,” a daughter shares how her Father remains in China.
9 days ago
ATLANTA, GA - UNDATED:  This undated handout photo from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent...
Jed Boal

U of U researcher joins international team to confirm specific origin of COVID-19

New research released Tuesday confirmed the origin of COVID-19. A University of Utah Health and an international team of researchers found that the earliest cases of COVID-19 in humans emerged at a wholesale fish market in Wuhan, China in December 2019.
24 days ago
Only 50% of Utans are vaccinated and cases are surging because of the Omicron variant BA.5. FILE PH...
Jed Boal

BA.5 variant driving new surge of Utah COVID-19 cases

President Joe Biden’s positive Covid case Thursday was a sober reminder that Utah is not done fending off COVID-19 in many communities.
29 days ago
(File) Intermountain Healthcare Faculty in Murray....
Jed Boal

COVID-19 hospitalizations doubled, but mortality rate is low

Hospitals see an uptick in COVID hospitalizations due to a new infectious variant that is less lethal but more transmittable.
1 month ago
Intermountain Medical Center in Murray (KSL TV)...
Jed Boal

Researchers: Intermittent fasting provides protection against severe COVID-19

Doctors at Intermountain Healthcare have researched the health benefits of intermittent fasting for nearly a decade. Their latest discovery: intermittent fasting helps protect against severe COVID, but it is not a replacement for vaccination.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
U of U Health Switching To Saliva COVID-19 Tests