How a village of scientists created better testing for COVID-19

August 23, 2020

source: University of South Carolina

The University of South Carolina’s new saliva-based COVID-19 surveillance test, announced last week, provides rapid results within 24 hours. It is a key tool in the university’s efforts to monitor and contain the spread of the virus within the campus community. The test — which is recommended specifically for asymptomatic cases — bypasses the discomfort of nasal swabbing and is much less expensive to process, allowing retesting multiple times throughout the semester.

Students, faculty and staff at UofSC can be tested for free between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday on Davis Field II and from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday at 650 Lincoln St. The rain location is 650 Lincoln.

Development of the test might never have happened if not for the efforts of a spontaneous coalition of scientists in South Carolina and across the country who worked nearly nonstop and shared results and materials with one another in the weeks before and after the initial lockdown in March. Phil Buckhaults, an associate professor in the College of Pharmacy, likens the collective effort to “a nerd club on Twitter.”

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