AU Health set to offer saliva COVID-19 test on Sept. 28

Published: Sep. 21, 2020 at 12:31 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Just days after saying the facility would be offering saliva testing for COVID-19, Augusta University Health now says they have a date firmed up.

Just a week from today people in the area can get tested for COVID-19 in a new way. AU Health announcing this afternoon they’re offering saliva testing starting next Monday.

Dr. Phillip Coule, chief medical officer of AU Health, says that they were ready to share more details.

AU Health’s GEM lab will be the first in the state of Georgia to process saliva tests. AU has been working on getting approval for this since May with the FDA.

They will start transition their drive-up testing sites over to saliva testing starting later this week and will be completely transitioned at their main downtown location by next Monday.

But they won’t be getting rid of those uncomfortable nasal tests completely. They still have to give those for those admitted to the hospital. But Dr. Coule says these new tests will be accurate.

“Saliva testing when done properly has the ability to be just as effective in terms of sensitivity of picking up COVID-19,” he said. “We will maintain that very quick turnaround of 24 hours or less is what we are currently able to deliver.”

Dr. Coule says that setting up the appointment for these tests is the same. And when you go, make sure to avoid eating or drink for an hour before the test.

AU Health has offered nasal swab tests for COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, but the new saliva test now gives potential patients a much more comfortable test.

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