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University of Illinois says its COVID-19 saliva tests are ‘working’ on its campus

University of Illinois has COVID-19 saliva tests — just like the University of Utah

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Irma Aldaz shows saliva collection devices at Spectrum DNA in Draper on Tuesday, April 7, 2020. The Utah company has developed the test kit to the coronavirus in patients’ saliva.

Irma Aldaz shows saliva collection devices at Spectrum DNA in Draper on Tuesday, April 7, 2020. The Utah company has developed the test kit to the coronavirus in patients’ saliva.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

The University of Illinois said its rapid saliva-based COVID-19 tests are “working” for their campus, ABC 7 reports.

  • Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said in August that the state would use the test after the Food and Drug Administration approved it.

Researchers at the University of Illinois said the new test requires less materials that the traditional test. And it can turn around results in three to six hours. This has led to a drop in positive rates, too.

Just last weekend, we did have some of our students make some really bad choices, but with fast, frequent testing, we were able to see this early, make corrective actions. And again, the overwhelming majority of our students want to get this right, so they were the strongest drivers of getting their fellow students to really get back into making a difference in a positive way. — Dr. Martin Burke, of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana

The test reportedly costs $10 per person.

University of Utah is doing this as well:

University of Utah Health has begun offering a saliva test at its Sugar House, Redwood, South Jordan and Farmington clinics in Utah, according to the Deseret News.

  • “We made this switch because saliva testing is so much more comfortable than the traditional method. ... With saliva testing, all we have to do is spit into a small tube, fill the tube up just a little bit, and that gives us the sample that we need,” said Dr. Richard Orlandi, U. Health chief medical officer of ambulatory health.

Similarly, the Intermountain Healthcare is working on its saliva tests and lab processes that could make tests available in two to three weeks, as the Deseret News reported.