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Spring semester surveillance testing

Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 12:13pm
Alan Flurry

UGA has increased capacity of its COVID-19 voluntary surveillance testing program for spring 2021, with an increasing reliance on saliva-based testing. The campus community is encouraged to participate in these important efforts to support a successful semester for everyone:

The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has developed a saliva-based test that has proved to be just as reliable as the nasopharyngeal swabs that have been used at the Legion Field surveillance site. In January—as soon as the current supply of nasopharyngeal test kits is exhausted—sites will switch to all saliva-based testing. Accurate results will be provided within 24-72 hours.

“This process is more hands off and does not require any oral fasting, so walking up and submitting a specimen is likely to be pretty straightforward. Overall, the supervision of the process requires less manual or medical skill, and there is less need for PPE, which is a time and cost savings. We are still dependent on supply chain for kits, but that is much less of a constraint than the current process. In the end, the process should also be safer,” [Russo] said.

From Jan. 4-22, capacity at the Legion Field surveillance testing site and pop-up locations across campus will be expanded to accommodate up to 1,500 tests per day (1,000 per day at Legion Field and 500 at pop-up locations).

Pop-up testing is available at the University Health Center through Jan. 8 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for faculty, staff and students, and at additional locations around campus beginning Monday, Jan. 11. The saliva-based testing is safe, easy and fast, so please take advantage of these ongoing opportunities to keep our campus and community safe.

Wear a mask. Keep your distance. Wash your hands. It's working, so let's continue to pull together!

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