Oklahoma To Introduce New Saliva Based COVID-19 Testing


Wednesday, April 29th 2020, 7:20 am



Happening as early as Wednesday, Oklahoma will be introducing new saliva based testing for COVID-19.

Saliva testing is going to replace the traditional nasal swab that's been done in Oklahoma. 

The diagnostics lab at Oklahoma State University sent an emergency use authorization to the FDA, so that saliva based testing can begin in Oklahoma.

The Governors team says this is a huge benefit because first, it makes it much easier for the state to process more tests faster.

Second, it lightens the burden on nursing homes and long term care facilities where nasal swabs tests can be difficult to perform.

With this new saliva based testing, the Governor says in the next 30 days all 42,000 nursing home residents and employees will be tested. They've also receive additional supplies of PPE.

"It's a game changer, just in the logistics going into a facility, and how quickly we are going to be able to test everyone in that facility. So we are very excited about that," said Deputy Secretary of Health and Mental Health Carter Kimble.

The Governors team says with this new testing, they will prioritize facilities that already have some positive COVID-19 cases before moving onto a regional basis throughout the rest of the state.


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