Temple University is offering saliva COVID-19 tests for students at its Cecil B. Moore Avenue testing center, according to Student Health Services’ scheduling portal.
Mark Denys, director of Student Health Services, confirmed the university is administering the saliva tests, but was not immediately available to provide further details.
Since the start of the pandemic, most COVID-19 tests have consisted of swabbing patients’ noses or throats to get an accurate sample, according to the United States Food and Drug Administration. In contrast, saliva testing requires patients to spit into a tube, which lowers the transmission risk for those collecting the samples and provides a cheaper, more comfortable form of testing.
Hannah Odoom, a junior anthropology major who received a saliva test at the Cecil B. Moore Avenue testing center on Oct. 1, said the test was easier than receiving a nasal swab.
“I feel like the saliva test is probably going to be more accessible, and it’s less painful,” Odoom said. “Everybody can receive a kit and do it themselves.”
During her appointment at the testing center, Odoom scanned a QR code that gave her step-by-step instructions for completing the saliva test, she said. She completed the saliva test at the center in around 10 minutes, and received her results two days later, Odoom added.
Nasal swab tests in Philadelphia, by contrast, can take between one and 14 days to return results, Philadelphia Magazine reported.
Hafeezat Bishi, a senior communications and social influence major who received a saliva test at the Aramark Student Training and Recreation Complex, said she was not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms but chose to be tested as a precaution after returning from a trip to New York.
“It was really simple, really straightforward,” Bishi said. “I don’t want to risk anything, so I made sure to take the test just to be sure I was negative when I came back to campus.”