University provides test tubes to speed results

Friday, the senior associate chancellor for administration and operations, Mike DeLorenzo, sent out a mass email regarding updates to the COVID-19 testing at the University. 

Faculty and students were being asked to provide a saliva sample into a test tube. The new test asks that they  use a straw to provide a saliva sample into a smaller test tube instead. 

The Campus Recreation Center East, CRCE, and Veterinary COVID-19 testing sites will be the first to use the new test tubes. The University is gradually making the shift to provide “a more efficient, automated process, faster lab processing of test results, fewer invalid results and reduced plastic waste.”

Despite the changes for University testing, Marissa Hall, senior in Nursing, said that she thinks the accuracy in the updated testing process is questionable. 

“I guess it’ll be interesting to see how that works because I feel like having a change when you get used to something is always kind of difficult or weird,” Hall said. “I feel like now we’re all used to having to collect our saliva and our cheeks to get in the tube.”  

The University anticipates to slowly transition all testing sites to the new saliva testing tube. The SHIELD screening test employees will explain how to use the straw and smaller tubes. 

Calvin Gordon, senior in Recreation Sports Tourism, said he does not mind the change if it is beneficial to the students. 

“You know, as long as it’s, in my opinion, as long as it’s efficient, and we don’t have to, I really worry about how effective the test will be, then I’m all for it,” said Gordon. 

Though Hall is adminamant about the new update, said she hopes that the turnaround time to receive testing results improves. 

“I would notice if I got tested like early in the day, like in the middle of the week, it would take forever for my test results to come back, but if I would get tested on like a Saturday or like later in the day, during the week, it would come back way quicker,” Hall said. “So yeah, I’ve had one test that like just got lost, like I never got the results back  that they’ve come back in at least 48 hours.

Until the University announces the transition for locations other than CRCE and Veterinarian sites, the rest of the on-campus testing process will remain the same. Regular recommendations for saliva testing still apply. Eating, drinking, brushing teeth, using mouthwash or tobacco products at least an hour prior to submitting a sample is not encouraged. 

Hall said she anticipated getting student and faculty reaction regarding the new testing option. 

“I feel like having a change when you get used to something is always kind of difficult or weird,” Hall said. “ Hopefully this new system will help fix inefficiencies.” 
More information regarding COVID-19 can be found here.