DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — Millikin University began offering saliva-based testing for COVID-19 to students on Monday and will offer it to employees as well starting Monday, Jan. 18.
A press release from Millikin says SHIELD Illinois is a coronavirus testing program and infrastructure that deploys the University of Illinois’ saliva test across the state. It adds the test is easy to administer, scalable, sensitive, and specific to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that cases COVID-19.
Results are normally available within 6-12 hours, the release says. Additionally, the cost is significantly lower than alternative testing methods, such as nasal swabs.
“Through cost and speed advantages, the saliva tests can increase access to testing and control spread of the virus by identifying pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic carriers,” the release says.
“Millikin is proud to partner with SHIELD Illinois to provide expanded and rapid testing to the campus community. The new saliva-based testing program will allow our students and faculty to engage in increased in-person experiences and return to the Performance Learning model that is the hallmark of a Millikin education,” said Millikin Vice President for Student Affairs Raphaella Prange.
“We want to thank all of our students for their diligent compliance of our COVID-19 campus safety plan that allowed for a very successful in-person fall term,” Prange continued. “This culture of compliance with testing as a vital component will ensure the upcoming spring term is equally as successful.”
The release says the UI has submitted its final application for emergency use authorization from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The FDA’s independent review is still pending.