You’ve probably heard a lot about testing for COVID-19 in the news.
There has been much coverage about the many different types of COVID-19 tests available and the supply shortages of the kits that healthcare workers need to test patients.
These newsworthy items related to testing might generate a question for your organization to examine “What type of test kits should we consider when testing our employees for COVID-19?”
COVID-19 Testing Recommendation
Remote Medical International recommends molecular or RT-PCR testing. This type of test determines whether an individual currently has the viral RNA that causes COVID-19.
We further recommend conducting saliva-based molecular testing. Here we’ll discuss the many benefits of saliva-based testing.
Advantages of Saliva-Based Testing
- Effective: Studies published in Clinical Infectious Diseases and the Journal of Infection, have shown that saliva is highly effective at detecting COVID-19 in patients.
- Non-invasive: Unlike traditional molecular testing which involves an invasive nasal swab, saliva collection is simple and only requires an individual to spit in a small container.
- Cost-effective: Traditional molecular testing (nasal or throat swab) requires a specially trained healthcare provider and significant amounts of costly PPE
- Saliva collection, however, only requires a healthcare provider with basic training and minimal PPE.
- Safety: Saliva-based sample collection is performed by the individual under provider supervision only, thus further decreasing the likelihood that providers inadvertently are exposed to the virus during testing.
- Timely. Our lab partners are usually able to provide results within 48 hours of receipt at the lab.
- Supply: Saliva testing is no longer limited by industry shortages in nasal swabs.
- Test kits are simply a sample cup or vial, no swab or stabilizing medium is required.
In addition to the advantages above, there are some other aspects to consider when comparing the saliva test to other forms of COVID-19 Testing utilized during the pandemic.
We’ll compare it to another common form of molecular testing we’ve already mentioned, the nasal swab.
Expanding on the PPE Issue
With nasal swab tests, the healthcare provider has to put on a complete set of PPE (mask, gown, face shield, gloves) every time they collect a sample directly from the individual. They then remove their PPE and dispose of it before moving on to the next collection.
The provider has to repeat this process before and after each sample collection, which slows down the rate of testing and increases the risk of exposure to the virus. Companies that go this route will need more medical providers on-site and a greater stock of limited PPE to test large groups of people, further, increasing costs.
On the other hand, saliva testing requires minimal PPE, and the provider only has to change their gloves between collections, which makes for a much faster process. One person can more safely perform a much higher volume of testing in a single day if they’re doing saliva-based tests.
When work requirements dictate that individuals need testing on a semi-regular basis, the invasive swab procedure can become irritating. The provider has to push the collection swab deep into the nasal cavity to obtain a proper sample, which can be uncomfortable.
Saliva, on the other hand, is easy to produce and provide as a sample and can be a better fit for employees on a semi-regular testing schedule.
We know that the budget is always a consideration when companies choose to implement a testing program.
We understand the sensitivity to increased operational costs. To address these concerns, we’ve negotiated competitive pricing with our preferred lab partners, which benefits your bottom line.
Get Started With Saliva-Based COVID-19 Testing
Are you interested in saliva-based COVID-19 Testing for your employees?