COVID-19 Saliva Test Kits: How They Work
- 26 January 2021
The coronavirus pandemic has blanketed the world for most of the last 10 months. But with testing vaccines on the horizon, and wide-spread testing entering a more-affordable sphere for most of the populace, there is newfound hope that the United States is turning the corner in confronting the pandemic.
In fact, right now, Lakeview Pharmacy is offering take-home COVID-19 saliva test kits. These easy-to-use, reliable testing kits will give you the knowledge to assess whether you may be dealing with cold-symptoms, or something more serious. Whether you need to know if you may have contracted the virus, or if you have been exposed to someone who has, you can take ownership of your condition by getting tested.
With results from a trusted laboratory and the guidance of your locally-based pharmacy, you’ll know if you need to quarantine and help protect those closest to you.
The Ins and Outs of Saliva Testing
Lakeview Pharmacy has partnered with Wheeler Labs to bring COVID-19 saliva testing to the Racine, Wis. area. The tests, once acquired by individuals, are simple to complete.
Follow the included instructions contained in the kit to collect your sample in the provided tube. Failure to follow the instructions may cause a delay in results, or require a new sample. Once the sample is collected, you can drop off the prepaid FedEx envelope at any or FedEx location or a scheduled pickup location. The lab will perform the test, and email your results back to you within 72 hours.
Fulfilling a sample requires about half a teaspoon of saliva, which can be deposited directly into the tube according to the instructions. There is no long nasal swab required, and providing the sample does not require interaction with any other individuals, including healthcare workers.
The kit itself is good for two years and can be stored at room temperature. The expiration date is printed on the saliva collection tube.
Wheeler Labs will report the results to corresponding local health departments, according to the state in which the patient was located when they took the test.
A negative saliva test will fulfill the requirement, and the CDC further recommends that all travelers get tested within three to five days after returning home.
The test itself will be conducted at Wheeler Labs, which is CLIA-certified. It is a COVID-19 RT-qPCR test, which has been granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The test detects the nucleic acid of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the virus that causes COVID-19, in the saliva of infected individuals. It will only detect active infections. For example, if a person was infected and then recovered, this test will give a negative result.
Classified as a high-complexity test, this particular assay will need roughly eight hours of dedicated time for a lab analyst to determine results. The accuracy of the test will identify an infected person more than 97 percent of the time and will accurately reflect an uninfected individual more than 98 percent of the time.
The accuracy is highly dependent on the SARS-CoV-2 information provided by the CDC. This is the same scientific basis for any test that may be called a ‘PCR,’ ‘RT-qPCR,’ ‘qPCR test,’ or ‘RT test.’
Earlier this month, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention issued a requirement for proof of a negative COVID-19 test, or recovery, for all air travel passengers arriving in the United States. This means you will need proof of a negative test to re-enter the country if you elect to travel abroad. The order applies to all air passengers 2 years of age or older.
We’re Here to Help You
With several COVID-19 vaccines coming to market and a nationwide rollout already being implemented by the government, questions abound on how to manage the changing dynamics in regards to the pandemic. Lakeview Pharmacy has been a Wisconsin institution with strong service for its customers for more than 40 years. We’re proud to be an officially recognized vaccine site for Wisconsin and are already providing at-home COVID-19 saliva testing kits.
We can provide you everything you need to know about the vaccine plan or the newly available testing kits. You can check out a full FAQ about the testing kits here, and if you’re interested in learning more, contact us to speak to one of our experienced pharmacists.