UO COVID-19 testing program switching to saliva tests

Beginning Monday, June 28, the UO’s COVID-19 testing program will switch to using saliva as its primary means of testing. The free tests continue to be offered at Matthew Knight Arena and McArthur Court, with schedules posted weekly on Thursdays.

Saliva samples can be processed at a fraction of the cost of a nasal swab and at far higher volumes, University of Oregon scientists said.

The Monitoring and Assessment Program, known as MAP, will still offer nasal swab tests as needed for personal or medical reasons.

At the testing site, personnel provide a collection cup and instructions, which include allowing saliva to pool in the front of the mouth for about 30 seconds, then gently spitting that liquid into the cup. The process may need to be repeated to produce sufficient volume.

Individuals should not eat or drink for 30 minutes prior to their saliva test.

For all MAP testing, preregistration is advised but not mandatory. People should wear a mask to the testing site and should not test if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days or are feeling sick or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.