U of U offering weekly asymptomatic COVID-19 testing to families of students, employees

Photo Courtesy: U of U

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Sept. 15, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The University of Utah is offering weekly asymptomatic COVID-19 testing to the immediate family and household members of university staff, students and faculty.

The Office of the Vice President for Research has partnered with the University of Utah Health Operations and Core facilities to develop rapid asymptomatic testing for the U’s campus community since the beginning of the year, said a news release from the U of U.

“Asymptomatic testing is crucial for restricting COVID-19 transmission on campus,” the news release said. “The U has world-class facilities that take samples and process the tests on-site, making it the only public Utah university offering the highly accurate tests for free. Keeping all the steps in-house means results come back fast.”

John Phillips, associate dean of research and infrastructure for the School of Medicine and director of the Health Science Center Core facilities where the samples are processed, said: “If you get your test sample in before noon, you’ll usually get results back that same afternoon. The tests average at well under a 24-hour turnaround. It doesn’t get any quicker than that.”

For more information or to schedule an asymptomatic coronavirus test, click here.

At the start of the pandemic, the HSC Sequencing Core staff “put in enormous effort” to adapt their facilities to detect the SARS-Cov-2 virus, the news release said. The specialized technology allows the U to process accurate rapid saliva tests, and to partner with the state of Utah to track coronavirus variants.

“We’re starting to see more breakthrough cases, often in asymptomatic individuals who are fully immunized but still positive,” said Cameron Wright, program manager for campus COVID-19 testing. “Testing remains an effective way to limit spread to the elderly, the immunocompromised, and unvaccinated children. We are remarkably fortunate to have this free, quick, accurate, accessible testing provided on campus by this Core Labs team.”

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