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UNL starts its saliva-based COVID testing

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has completed nearly 25,000 COVID tests with its new...
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has completed nearly 25,000 COVID tests with its new saliva-based testing.(10/11 NOW)
Published: Jan. 30, 2021 at 8:16 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has completed nearly 25,000 COVID tests with its new saliva-based testing. Students said it’s now only easier, but also more convenient even though it’s required every two weeks.

To date, less than 1% of students, faculty and staff tested positive for the virus with the new testing. Some students said they like saliva testing because it takes half a minute to do.

“I like that it’s not invasive,” said Emma Niemeier, UNL sophomore.

On Saturday, Niemeier did her second saliva-based test, as students are required to get tested every two weeks.

“I don’t dread going to get tested now. It’s actually really easy I’m like okay let’s just get it over with,”

Emma has been tested for COVID before and even tested positive last July. She’s been tested two times and both were negative.

‘We communicated to our students that we really wanted them to participate in some type of self-isolation before returning because we really wanted to make sure that they were healthy,” said Amy Goodburn, Dean of Undergraduate Education at UNL.

UNL Experts said students, faculty and staff say saliva testing is convenient not just for the several campus locations, but also for getting results on your phone.

‘Students have talked about how they like the app that they’re using to communicate their results and that’s supporting building access,” said Goodburn.

To get into campus buildings, students, faculty and staff have to show people at the doors their test results through a school app. This means everyone who walks into a building has tested negative in the last two weeks.

“It’s really nice knowing that everyone in the building that you enter is tested negative. I feel very safe on campus,” said Niemeier.

From universal masking, social distancing and now required testing, UNL said this is just another layer to keep in-person learning a safe environment.

The University said any data used is kept private and only used to update the school’s dashboard. Currently, there’s no discussion of making saliva-based testing available citywide.

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