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Starting today, CSRA leads the way in saliva testing for coronavirus

Published: Sep. 28, 2020 at 5:13 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - It’s a big day for Augusta University Health: Starting today, saliva testing will be offered as another option for COVID-19 testing.

It’s said to be more comfortable than testing with nasal swabs, but just as accurate and effective.

AU Health won’t be getting rid of the nasal tests completely; the staff will still use that method to patients who are admitted to the hospital.

AU Health has been working with the Food and Drug Administration to get the saliva tests approved since May, and now it will be the first lab in Georgia to process them.

Just like the nasal swab tests, the new saliva testing will come with quick results — a turnaround of 24 hours or less.

Dr. Phillip Coule, chief medical officer at AU Health, says the new option will be better for everyone.

“From personal experience, I can tell you that I would much prefer a saliva test than I would to have a swab done,” said the former COVID-19 patient.

He added that the new method is also safer for the people collecting the specimen.

Other things to know

  • Setting up an appointment for these tests are pretty much the same as it has been.
  • Adults can get tested at a drive-thru on the AU Health Sciences Campus.
  • Kids in need of a test can go to the AU Pediatric Care Center in Grovetown.
  • When you go, make sure to avoid eating or drink for an hour before the test.

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