Saliva Assay Free Expedited (SAFE) Testing

Saliva Assay Free Expedited (SAFE) Testing

A partnership between Winthrop University and the USC College of Pharmacy will allow Winthrop to expand its testing capacity and help the university maintain face-to-face classes and organizational activities for the remainder of 2021.  

The Saliva Assay Free Expedited (SAFE) test is free, quick, and noninvasive and results can typically be shared within 24-48 hours after the sample is collected. The PCR saliva-based test shows 97.5% accuracy in the early stage of infection. SAFE testing is only available to current students, faculty, and staff. (Staff includes Sodexo and Barnes & Noble employees.).

Everyone is encouraged to test at least once a month, per CDC guidelines. Register HERE (pdf - 58.1 KB).

You should not participate in SAFE testing if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. These include, but are not limited to, coughing, fever, sensory loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath, headaches and/or sore throat.

You should not participate in SAFE testing if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. These include, but are not limited to, coughing, fever, sensory loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath, headaches and/or sore throat. Instead, follow the student protocol or employee protocol (pdf - 703 KB) for symptoms or exposure.

 

What You Need to Know

 

    A key factor in the rapid spread of COVID-19 infections across a community is that individuals can have the virus but not show any symptoms. In order to monitor potential spread of this sort, public health experts have consistently noted that regular and ongoing COVID-19 testing is crucial for the successful and sustained operations of campuses like ours where students live and learn in close proximity. SAFE testing will help in our goal for all in our community to “Be Positive You’re Negative.”

    Participation is entirely voluntary. Students, faculty and staff who would like to participate in SAFE testing must bring their Winthrop ID to the testing site in McBryde Hall. Test samples will be collected and coded in a manner that ensures confidentiality and protects privacy. Positive test results will be reported to SC DHEC. Positive student test results will be shared with Health Services. Health Services will contact students who test positive to provide further instructions and begin contact tracing.

    • You must be registered to do the SAFE test and to receive your results. You may preregister (pdf - 58.1 KB) (only needed once) to speed your testing time. After setting up your account, you will only need to check in, rather than register, at the testing site. You can register on site as well.
    • Do not eat or drink anything (including gum, candy or nasal spray) or use any tobacco or vaping products for at least 30 minutes prior to your SAFE test. Do not drink water for 10 minutes prior to the administration of your test.
    • Remember, at the SAFE testing site, you will be asked to provide a saliva sample (5 ml which is equal to one teaspoon), so we encourage you to think about some of your favorite foods while walking to the testing site. Those thoughts of pizza, cheese fries, or milkshakes will stimulate the saliva glands in your mouth and make your test go quicker. You can also move your tongue back and forth in your mouth to stimulate saliva flow.
    • Grab your phone and carry it with you to McBryde. You will want to take a photo of your barcode to save in your phone. This will come in handy when you receive notification your results are ready.
    • Understand the Environment: Please bring your Winthrop ID with you. When lining up to enter the testing site, you must remain 6 feet apart from others.
    • Register if You Did Not Pre-Register: When directed by a staff monitor, you will approach the registration table, and a collection staff member will register you by name or ID number. The staff member will scan the barcode on an empty sample test tube and will give the tube to you. Take a photograph of the barcode for your reference.
    • Physically Distance in the Test Area: Please stand 10 feet apart from other people who are testing.
    • Provide Sample: Collect naturally occurring saliva in your mouth and deposit it up to the 5ml mark of your barcoded test tube. (This is the equivalent of one teaspoon.) Bubbles do not count towards your 5 ml of saliva.
    • Close the Sample Tube Securely: When your clear saliva sample reaches the 5 ml mark, your saliva collection is complete. Secure the test tube top on and proceed to the check-out table.
    • Check Out: Following safe social distancing guidelines and when space is available, show your sample tube to a staffer for them to verify the 5 ml volume. Do not hand it to a staffer but carefully place your sample tube into a rack on the table.
    • Sanitize: Hand sanitizer will be provided to you before you leave.

    SAFE testing will be offered in McBryde Hall (enter at end nearest the Campus Center) on the following schedule. Times are 10  a.m.-2 p.m. unless noted next to the date below.

    • Tuesday, 9/7
    • Tuesday, 9/21
    • Tuesday, 10/5
    • Tuesday, 10/19
    • Tuesday, 11/2
    • Tuesday, 11/16
    • Tuesday, 12/7
    • Tuesday, 12/14

 

SAFE Testing Results

Feb. 23, 2021

Total number of samples collected: 49
Positives: 0
Negatives: 49
Inconclusive: 0
Positivity rate: 0%

March 8, 2021

Total number of samples collected: 32
Positives: 2
Negatives: 30
Inconclusive: 0
Positivity rate: 6%

April 7, 2021

Total number of samples collected: 28
Positives: 0
Negatives: 28
Inconclusive: 0
Positivity rate: 0%

April 21, 2021

Total number of samples collected: 11
Positives: 1
Negatives: 10
Inconclusive: 0
Positivity rate: 9%

May 5, 2021

Total number of samples collected: 14
Positives: 0
Negatives: 14
Inconclusive: 0
Positivity rate: 0%

June 8, 2021

Total number of samples collected: 7
Positives: 0
Negatives: 7
Inconclusive: 0
Positivity rate: 0%

July 20, 2021

Total number of samples collected: 6
Positives: 0
Negatives: 6
Inconclusive: 0
Positivity rate: 0%

August 10, 2021

Total number of samples collected: 15
Positives: 0
Negatives: 15
Inconclusive: 0
Positivity rate: 0%

August 24, 2021

Total number of samples collected: 57
Positives: 4
Negatives: 53
Inconclusive: 0
Positivity rate: 7%

September 7, 2021

Total number of samples collected: 59
Positives: 0
Negatives: 58
Inconclusive: 1
Positivity rate: 0%

Note: Per UofSC College of Pharmacy, an Inconclusive Result means a sample did not meet internal requirements for testing. Common reasons for this result are insufficient sample volume, thick mucus, or other blockers that can cause interference with testing, for example: sports drinks, coffee, salt, toothpaste, food, or beverage within 30 minutes before testing.

 

Please also visit our COVID-19 Dashboard.

 

 

 

 

 

Last Updated: 9/8/21