According to a release, starting today, Thursday, September 24, Intermountain Healthcare is transitioning to saliva-based COVID-19 testing at its community testing sites throughout Utah for patients ages six and older in an effort to make the testing process more comfortable and streamlined for patients.
There are two Intermountain Healthcare testing locations near Lehi, at American Fork Hospital, 170 N. 1100 E. American Fork, and at the Saratoga Springs Instacare, located at 354 W. State Road 73 in Saratoga Springs.
This method of sample collection requires 3 mL of saliva (not sputum or mucus). Children ages five and younger, as well as those who cannot produce enough saliva, will still be tested by nasopharyngeal swab.
“This new process should be much more comfortable for patients and enable us to collect samples from more patients at one time while continuing to maintain a high quality of our testing,” said Bert Lopansri, MD, associate medical director for infectious diseases and medical director for microbiology for Intermountain Healthcare.
Though the collection method is changing, the test itself is not. Intermountain will continue to utilize the same Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing process to maintain a high level of quality.
Patients who are planning on being tested shouldn’t take anything by mouth at least 30 minutes before their sample collection. This includes eating, drinking, brushing teeth, using mouthwash, chewing gum, using mints, smoking, or chewing tobacco.
For more information, see intermountainhealthcare.org/COVID19.