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Bradley University Holds Off On Adopting U of I COVID-19 Saliva Test, For Now

Christine Herman/Illinois Newsroom
University of Illinois chemist Paul Hergenrother collects a saliva sample for a COVID-19 test he helped develop for the campus.

Could Bradley University adopt the University of Illinois' COVID-19 saliva test? Probably not right away, said Bradley University President Stephen Standifird.

"The University of Illinois has reached out to us, and we're obviously in conversations with them. Being able to do rapid turn-around response would be great. They've got a volume issue. So I know they've struggled themselves to keep up with their volume," Standifird said.

Standifird said Bradley is working closely with OSF HealthCare on its COVID-19 surveillance testing efforts on campus. For the time being, he said OSF has recommended holding off on implementing the rapid testing currently available.

"Until we have confidence in the reliability of those tests, we've decided to stick with the plan that we have," Standifird said in an interview with WCBU. "And we're really letting OSF drive that course. We've made a really strong decision to follow the science. And that's where having a partner like OSF is really helpful."

Standifird said he was looking further into the U of I test that received emergency approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last month.

Bradley University is employing surveillance testing of employees and students each week to assess COVID-19's prevalence on campus. As of last Friday, nine people had tested positive for the virus. Another 38 people were quarantining.

Students and faculty on campus are required to wear masks whenever they cannot socially distance. About half of Bradley's courses this semester are online-only.

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