Friday, August 19, 2022 DOs and DON'Ts: What to know if you need a COVID test
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers free, saliva-based COVID-19 testing for students, faculty and staff. Watch the video to learn how the testing process works and what to expect.
BEFORE YOUR TEST
- Drink lots of water so you’re adequately hydrated. You can drink water until 10 minutes before your appointment.
- Bring your NCard (university ID) to check in.
- Eat or drink in the 30 minutes prior to your appointment. You also should not use mouthwash, chewing gum, tobacco products or nasal sprays.
AT THE TEST SITE: SALIVA COLLECTION
- Step away from the window to self-collect your sample.
- Open your test tubs and remove the straw wrapper. Place the straw in the test tube.
- Remove or adjust your face mask to uncover your mouth.
- Complete this action repeatedly:
- Relax your mouth and don’t swallow. Let saliva pool in your mouth and under your tongue.
- Bend over to let the saliva dribble into the straw from the sides of your mouth and under your tongue.
- Stand and repeat until you’ve reached the necessary sample.
- The liquid saliva - not including bubbles - should reach above the fill line on the test tube.
- When complete, remove the straw and close until you hear a click on the tube. Wipe the collection tube with the alcohol wipe.
- Replace your face mask to cover your mouth and nose.
- Give your sample to collection staff. The worker will inspect your sample. You may be asked to take the sample again if your sample doesn't have sufficient volume or has issues (read the DON'T section below).
- Throw away all trash items in the designated bins and use hand sanitizer before leaving.
- If you have questions, signal to the staff so they can assist you.
- Don’t cough or sniff while letting saliva pool in your mouth.
- Don’t pull from the back of your throat or prepare to spit.
- Don’t blow or force saliva into the straw.
- Don't include chunks of mucus, food particles, or beverage residue.
- Expect results to be available online by midnight the following day in the COVID-19 portal.
- Look for notifications via email and the Nebraska app when new info, such as a test result, is available in the portal.
- If needed, review information on covid19.unl.edu about what to do if you've tested positive.