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University of Providence and Alluvion Health partner to provide saliva testing for COVID

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Posted at 11:56 AM, Dec 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-22 17:10:23-05

GREAT FALLS — The University of Providence-Great Falls, Alluvion Health, and Adlera Laboratory have teamed up to create a response to the increased need for rapid and reliable COVID-19 testing.

A news release from UP says that Adlera Lab, which is a certified diagnostic lab owned and operated by Alluvion Health, will utilize a qPCR machine to process 344 saliva samples per day for the detection of COVID-19. This process is less intrusive than the traditional respiratory swabs, and the utilization of saliva tests - as opposed to traditional swabs - allows trained University personnel to collect samples on-site. It also enables Alluvion Health staff to continue providing community testing to the residents.

The news release states: "The technology is a real-time qPCR machine that processes saliva samples, instead of the more intrusive respiratory swabs, with very accurate, timely results. The university engaged in this partnership as a way to serve the needs of its students as they return to campus, but also to supply the community with access to this type of testing."

“Since the laboratory capacity is a critical limiting factor to testing, an additional RT-qPCR instrument could easily double the lab’s output leading to a quicker test to result time,” said S. Diane Lund, the Faculty Program Lead for Masters of Science Infection Prevention & Epidemiology. “Those who are infected do not typically show symptoms until day five, so if testing happens before symptoms appear and we get a quick result, we might be able to isolate individuals before they infect too many people.”

Trista Besich, CEO of Alluvion Health and Adlera Lab, said, “The partnership with University of Providence underscores the shared passion Adlera Lab, Alluvion Health, and the University of Providence have for our community. The ability to increase testing capability and decrease turnaround times is so impactful on individual patients and their confidence in our community’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our ability to provide those services locally creates tremendous opportunity to adapt our response to local needs, while still supporting the statewide demand for testing capacity and decreased turnaround. We know waiting for answers can be stressful and overwhelming, this partnership will be tremendously impactful and the benefits will be immediately noticeable.”

We are working to get more information about the saliva testing, who is eligible, and where it can be performed.