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Saliva-based COVID-19 test to be available in Rockford area

Results will take 6 to 12 hours, not days like other tests.
FILE - In this June 25, 2020, file photo, a physician assistant prepares to collect a nasal swab sample from a patient for COVID-19 testing at Xpress Urgent Care in Tustin, Calif. The personal protective gear that was in dangerously short supply during the initial weeks of the coronavirus crisis in the U.S. is running out again as the virus resumes its rapid spread and the number of hospitalized patients climbs. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
FILE - In this June 25, 2020, file photo, a physician assistant prepares to collect a nasal swab sample from a patient for COVID-19 testing at Xpress Urgent Care in Tustin, Calif. The personal protective gear that was in dangerously short supply during the initial weeks of the coronavirus crisis in the U.S. is running out again as the virus resumes its rapid spread and the number of hospitalized patients climbs. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)(Jae C. Hong | AP)
Published: Sep. 24, 2020 at 9:50 AM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A new saliva-based COVID-19 test will be available in the Rockford area in approximately six to eight weeks.

The test was developed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and will be offered under the name SHIELD Illinois through a partnership with the University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford, according to the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

The new SHIELD Illinois test requires the person tested to drool in a tube. Results will take 6 to 12 hours, not days like other tests. The cost is less than a third of the cost of current swab tests.

“This is a game-changer for COVID-19 testing,” Dr. Alex Stagnaro-Green, dean of the College of Medicine Rockford said. “We expect by late October to have a testing laboratory operational that will be able to provide same-day results in most cases.”

Rockford Chamber of Commerce
Rockford Chamber of Commerce(Rockford Chamber of Commerce)

The technology and process underlying SHIELD will allow the state to shift away from a defensive symptom-based strategy to a proactive surveillance-based strategy, according to the Rockford Chamber of Commerce.

SHIELD Illinois hopes to expand the testing to local organizations and businesses who want to screen their employees, students or members to control the spread of COVID-19 in their organizations.

For more information, contact Alex Stagnaro-Green, MD, MHPE, MHA, at asg@uic.edu or (815) 395-5600.

Copyright 2020 WIFR. All rights reserved.

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