UW Health using saliva collection for many patients needing COVID-19 tests

MADISON, Wis. — UW Health is now using saliva collection for patients needing COVID-19 tests, a release said Monday.

The method is being used for patients who are at least 3 years old, are asymptomatic and are being screened before an operation or procedure.

A nose swab will still be used for children under three years old, the release said. Also patients who have symptoms of COVID-19 and patients who cannot produce enough saliva will also get a nose swab as opposed to the spit test.

Saliva as a testing method for COVID-19 was validated in studies done by UW Health. Using saliva could help health care systems by reducing the demand for scarce testing resources like swaps, collection kits and preservative solutions.