COVID-19 Saliva Home Testing Now Available At Crescent
Crescent School families and staff can now determine quickly and painlessly if they are positive for COVID-19. Crescent is one of 50 schools participating in a Saliva Home Testing program created by the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and Toronto Public Health.
"This program makes COVID-19 testing easily available to students and staff, including their families, to support the health & safety of our entire school community," says Jody Stapleton, Crescent School nurse. "The SickKids diagnostic PCR Saliva Home Testing Kits are a painless alternative to the nose swab, and can help stop the spread of COVID-19 through early identification and early isolation".
As of April 29, 2021, the Saliva Home Testing Kit is available for students and Crescent staff, and members of their immediate families (ages four and older). The test can be used by someone who is experiencing one or more COVID-19 symptoms, or who has been notified as being a close contact with a positive case of COVID-19. Instead of a nasal swab, the test involves spitting into a small plastic vial, which is sealed and labelled before it is submitted to the SickKids lab. Test results should be available within 24 to 48 hours.
Saliva testing kits offer several benefits:
Ease of Access: Tests can be picked up, dropped off and even done in the car on school grounds. There is no need to make an appointment, visit a COVID-19 assessment centre or stand in line waiting for the test.
High Accuracy: Like the nasal swab test, saliva-based tests are polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. They are highly sensitive and equally as accurate.
Non-Invasive: Unlike the nasal swab test, saliva-based tests are easy to perform and pain-free.
Crescent’s nurses will assist families and staff who use the Saliva Home Testing Kit to ensure the test is collected and submitted properly.