Local company selling saliva tests so you can test for COVID-19 at home

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LENEXA, Kan. — A local company steps up its fight against COVID-19, and it’s a test that you can do at home. Doctors say it’s as accurate as the long nasal swabs they use. 

Clinical Reference Laboratory is selling saliva tests that anyone can order. 

“This is the saliva tube. You spit in the part at the top and when you’re done, you seal it,” CRL CEO Robert Thompson said, “and it releases fluid to preserve the specimen. It’s good for 21 days.”

Thompson said one tests costs $110. 

Here’s how it works: Order the test online. CRL ships it overnight. You take the test and ship it back to the lab. The company said you will get your results back — through an app on your phone — within 1 or 2 days. 

“So it’s pretty fast, it’s faster than most others,” Thompson said. “If you’re in Kansas, we have some drop off boxes around here and you can skip a day.”

Thompson and Dr. Steven Stites at the University of Kansas Health System said these tests are as accurate at the long nasal swabs. 

“You probably need to continue to isolate until you get those results back,” Stites said, “and just understand that that test is for that point in time and there’s nothing to say that 24, 36,48 hours later you can develop symptoms or have a change in your clinical presentation.”

Thompson said a test with rapid results like this could be the difference between spending the holidays with Grandma, or not.

“I think no matter what we do, people are going to spend the holidays together,” Thompson said. “I’ve been sending these kits out to friends of my son saying test yourself! Before you come home for the holiday.”

The Lenexa-based company has been offering these saliva tests to universities like KU and businesses across the country since August. 

This is the same process and test used to test suite ticket holders going to Chiefs games. 

“As that was happening we kept getting questions, ‘Gee can I test my family? Can I just buy some kits and do that?’ And the holidays are coming and kids are retiring from college and we felt like it was the right time to bring something out,” Thompson said.

Thompson said it’s the perfect time to offer this test to the public ahead of the holidays. 

“People are going to get together for the holidays, let’s just do it safely,” Thompson said.

If you’re results are positive, a telemedicine doctor will follow up with next steps and guidance. 

If you are showing symptoms or have been exposed to the Coronavirus and need to order a test click here.

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