Arizona officials are expanding coronavirus testing in high need communities through a new saliva test. The Arizona Department of Health Services and Arizona State University are working together increase COVID-19 diagnostic testing. (July 23)
- You're gonna open this vial, stick your straw in, and fill it up to the minimum line with saliva.
JOSHUA LABAER: That's biggest difference for this test is that we're using saliva as a sample instead of the nasopharyngeal swab that people use to take a brushing from the back of the throat.
So we thought the saliva looked very attractive because, first of all, you don't need nurses anymore. All you need is a couple people. One to hand out the tube and straw, the collection equipment, and one to just check it in and, you know, do the barcode checking. And that's it. And you can collect way more samples.
I think a lot of those minority communities are not getting as much medical care as some of the other communities in the valley. When they don't have access to medical care or ready access to more traditional methods of getting testing done, they don't get tested.
And, of course, that only leads to more transmission in their communities. The test for us so far has been relatively quick. We have never gone more than 48 hours from the time we got a sample to the time we got a result out, but usually we're closer to 24 hours.