COVID-19: Alberta Explores Saliva Testing Option

COVID-19: Alberta Explores Saliva Testing Option

Alberta is exploring the option of saliva sampling as a new means of testing for COVID-19. If the results are convincing, it will be possible to test yourself, without the help of health personnel.

The saliva test would thus facilitate the screening of children, seniors and people who find the nasal sample uncomfortable.

“Collecting samples with the nasal swab is a real challenge for healthcare workers, especially children,” Dr David Goldfarb, medical microbiologist at BC Children's and Women's Hospital, told Global News.

This new method could reduce the waiting time for samples, but not necessarily that for laboratory results.

As of yet, the accuracy of this test has not yet been proven.

“If you test someone in the early stages of infection, they may miss the saliva test and the result is negative,” said Dr. Jason Kindrachuk, assistant professor at the Canada Research Chair in emerging viruses at the University of Manitoba.

In Quebec, saliva tests are currently used in hospitals, but are not yet available on a large scale.

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