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U-M Shifting To Saliva-Based COVID-19 Testing

Oct 9, 2020

The University of Michigan is shifting from a nasal swab COVID-19 surveillance test it gives to students, faculty, and staff to a saliva-based test.  

By switching to a saliva test, the university will increase its testing capacity from 3,000 people a week to 6,000 a week.  The nasal swabs will be phased out over the next few weeks but the university is already offering the saliva test at the Palmer Commons on north campus.  Rick Fitzgerald is a spokesperson for the university and says, like the nasal test, the saliva test is also approved by the FDA.

Rick Fitzgerald: It is easier on the individual.  A lot of people are reluctant to have a swab sort of poked up their nose.

Fitzgerald says the plan is to add more testing sites on campus to get as many people as possible to volunteer for COVID-19 testing.  He adds that the new testing is being conducted by a private company and not Michigan Medicine, which expedites the sign-up process because individuals don’t have to go through the university’s health system.

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— Jorge Avellan is a reporter for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him javellan@emich.edu