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Rapid saliva-based COVID-19 testing to expand to some SC colleges

According to USC, the saliva-based COVID-19 testing will expand to other college and universities across South Carolina because of a $16.7 million grant.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The University of South Carolina is expanding rapid saliva-based COVID-19 testing across the state. 

According to the university, the saliva-based COVID-19 testing will expand to other college and universities across South Carolina because of a $16.7 million grant from the state of South Carolina.

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According to the release, USC is one of the first universities to develop a saliva-based COVID-19 testing program for students, faculty and staff. 

The grant will allow more schools to offer this testing in the spring. 

The USC College of Pharmacy, which developed test, offers testing five days a week on a walk-up basis and results are delivered within 24 hours.

Credit: WLTX
Saliva samples, collected at USC, are brought to an on-campus lab for testing.

“We look forward to expanding our program to help other institutions throughout our state. As South Carolina’s flagship research university, we are dedicated to serving all South Carolinians. Community service is part of our mission. This expansion will allow us to do this in a meaningful and timely way,” said College of Pharmacy dean Stephen J. Cutler.

Partners in the project include the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and Clemson University. 

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The grant is funded through  the CARES Act allocation and state’s COVID-19 Response Reserve Account. 

USC will receive approximately $5.3 million to expand testing capabilities, according to the release. This will money will be used to reduce testing result turnaround times and increase testing capacity to meet the needs for other state universities.