What kind of COVID-19 test is being offered as part of this program?
UO is offering a PCR test, a molecular test which is considered the “gold standard” and most accurate type of test for SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19. The collection kits provided will be designed for saliva collection and are licensed under an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA.
Why use saliva tests and not nasal swabs?
Testing saliva removes the need for nasopharyngeal swabs, which some patients find uncomfortable. A saliva sample only requires a sterile container, no uncomfortable swab or device and is faster and simpler to process. This increases the capacity for large-scale testing while reducing the strain on supply chains and reducing the likelihood of shortages of testing resources.
How does the process work?
The UO team provides your program's testing managers with pre-packaged saliva collection kits, instructions, and all the information students and parents will need to complete a sample. Registration is slightly different for each program so please find your program below to find your specific registration link. Following these simple instructions, you will be able to quickly collect your sample in a collection tube, seal it in the provided bag, and return it to your program's designated drop-off location. Samples will be picked up and transported to the UO lab to be processed. Once tests are processed in the lab, you will be notified that your results are available through the online results portal. Results will also be sent to the state and local public health officials who will call individuals with positive results and begin the contact tracing process. Testing Mangers/ programs will not receive results for individual participants.
For questions contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Collection and Results
How do I prepare for my saliva self-collection?
- Drink water up to 30 minutes before your collection. If your mouth is too dry, it can be hard to produce enough saliva.
- Think about a delicious meal, your favorite foods or the taste of lemons!
- Eat, drink (including water), chew gum, eat candy, or brush/floss your teeth for at least 30 minutes before providing your saliva sample.
- Wear lipstick or lip balm when you’re testing.
- Forcefully clear your throat while giving a sample. Too much mucus in the sample makes it difficult to get an accurate test result.
Is there a best time to collect the sample?
If your employer sends test kits home with you to be collected, collect the sample the night before you return it to your designated program pickup day. It might help to do the self-collection right before sitting down to a meal the night before you return the collection kit.
When will I receive test results?
Test results will be ready within 24 to 48 hours from the time the sample is received in the lab.
How will I receive test results?
Test results are made available through a secure result portal. During registration, you will be asked to provide an email address and phone number. Once results are available, you will be emailed and texted with login information for the portal. This information will allow you to access results for your specific student for the most recent test. Additional information available on the How to Access Your Results page.
Who do I contact if I’m having trouble accessing my results in the portal?
Please reach out to email@example.com with any questions.
Are my test results and personal information kept private?
Yes. Results are available to you via a secure results portal. The method for accessing test results will be sent only to the email/phone provided by the student’s parent/guardian at registration. As is the case with all COVID-19 testing, results will also be provided to the Oregon Health Authority and your local public health official for contact tracing and follow up. Programs/Testing Managers will not receive results for individual participants.
What should I do if my results are positive?
A positive COVID-19 test result indicates that proteins from SARS-CoV-2 was detected in your sample and you are presumed infected and contagious. Stay home and isolate to limit the spread of the virus. You will be contacted by your local public health official at the number you provided during registration. If you develop symptoms at any time, contact your health care provider. Click here to visit OHA’s COVID-19 page for more information. The Oregon Health Authority has provided the following diagram, linked here, to help patients interpret their results.
What should I do if my results are inconclusive?
An inconclusive means that your sample did not produce enough information during the testing process to establish a definitive result. IT IS NOT A POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE RESULT. This can be a result of having contaminants in the sample from food, drink, or toothpaste, among other reasons. If you aren’t feeling well, we recommend contacting your health care provider or utilize a drop-in testing service to get tested again soon to establish your COVID-19 status. Please be sure to participate in the next week’s testing.
How do I interpret my test results in the portal?
Sample Type: Lists the type of test administered. In this case, a saliva test or anterior nares (AN) swab was administered.
Physician Name: The ordering physician for the testing being conducted at UO testing sites.
Sample ID: The sample tube barcode that is associated with your test sample on a particular test day.
Patient ID: The unique confirmation ID that was provided to you in your confirmation email or text at the time of registration.
Samples Received: The time your test sample was received in the UO MAP lab for processing.
Reports Completed: The time your test sample processing was completed.
Normal Result: Indicates that a negative result is the most common result reported.
Test Description: The type of test processed in the lab is a RT-PCR. SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR detects genetic material of the virus using a lab technique called polymerase chain reaction.
What does it mean if my results say “SARS-CoV-2 Not Detected?"
“SARS-CoV-2 Not Detected” means your sample has tested negative for COVID-19.
What does it mean if my result states “Re-collection Necessary?"
This means there was a problem with your sample and we were unable to complete testing. We strongly recommend that you test again next week.
Will I get a false positive if I have been vaccinated?
No. The saliva test provided does not detect antibodies like those generated by your body in response to a vaccine. It is highly specific and detects only RNA from the SARS-CoV-2 virus itself. Though some vaccines include RNA, this material will not end up in your saliva from a shot in your arm.
Will I get a false positive if I’ve had/contracted COVID-19 in the past?
You may test positive for COVID-19 if there is still viral RNA in your system. However, most people who have had COVID-19 that is resolved will not test positive. In either case, it is considered a true positive as the viral RNA has been detected. In some cases, the tests are so sensitive that they can pick up RNA that is not viable and cannot replicate, meaning that you are no longer able to infect others. Please use appropriate caution if you test positive for any reason. If you have tested positive within the past 90 days, please do not use the weekly screening test.
When is COVID-19 testing most accurate? How long does it take after exposure to test positive for COVID-19?
The current recommendation for testing is to get tested five to seven days after a known exposure. Even if this initial test comes back negative, if you are not vaccinated the CDC recommends that you observe the 14-day quarantine period, which is based on the amount of time it takes for an exposed person to become ill.
Can COVID-19 spread through saliva?
The primary route of viral transmission is through small droplets in the air that are breathed out by an infected person. There is not good evidence surrounding transmission through contact with saliva. However, it is always best to be cautious, including sealing and disinfecting the sample tube with the provided alcohol wipe, and washing your hands afterward. The bags provided in the test kits are designed to minimize any possible transmission once the bag is sealed.