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UW COVID-19 Testing Program

UW OFFERS FREE COVID-19 TESTS TO PUBLIC

Starting Feb. 1, the University of Wyoming is offering a limited number of free COVID-19 diagnostic tests to members of the public who aren’t displaying symptoms of the infection. The saliva-based tests, developed for the university’s surveillance testing program for students and employees, are processed by UW’s Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory and typically produce results within 24 hours. They’re being offered as a service to the Albany County community, particularly those who are uninsured or unable to afford COVID-19 tests from other providers.

Collaborators in this effort include Albany County School District 1, Laramie Interfaith, Laramie Main Street Alliance, Laramie Chamber Business Alliance, Laramie’s Downtown Clinic and UW’s Family Medicine Residency Centers.

UW is offering to test up to 375 asymptomatic members of the public per week on a first-come, first-served basis. Tests will be administered from 3-4:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Those who sign up will see information directing them to a specific location; they’ll receive their results online.

People must be age 8 or older to take the test, which involves producing a small saliva sample through a straw into a test tube. Minor children may be assisted by a parent or legal guardian in the collection process; however, those who are unable to spit or follow testing instructions should seek other testing alternatives.

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How Do I Get Tested?

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STEP 1: PRE-REGISTER FOR A TEST

Register to be tested. You’ll be asked to create an account and fill out some information in preparation for the test, including an email address.

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STEP 2: SCHEDULE YOUR TIME SLOT

After you register for a test, please schedule your testing appointment. You must have an appointment to be tested.

 

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STEP 3: ARRIVE FOR TESTING

Once you arrive at the testing location, the sample collection process should take less than 10 minutes. Please do not drink, eat, smoke, chew gum or brush teeth within 30 minutes of your appointment.

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STEP 4: CHECK YOUR RESULTS

Tests are processed and results notification will be provided via email within 24-48 hours. You'll need to visit the UW Public Testing Portal to view your results.

COVID TESTING FACTS

COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The virus, which can cause mild to severe respiratory illness, was first idenitifed in Wuhan, China, and has now been identified in over 60 countries. There is limited information available to characterize the spectrum of clinical illness associated with COVID-19 but it likely spreads to others when a person shows signs or symptoms of being sick (e.g., fever, coughing, sneezing, difficulty breathing, etc.).

The test is designed to detect the virus that causes COVID-19 in saliva.  You will be asked to produce a small saliva sample through a straw into a test tube, to be delivered to the lab for testing.

Potential risks include:

  • Possible discomfort or other complications that can happen during sample collection.
  • Possible incorrect test results (see below for more Information).

Potential benefits include:

  • The results, along with other information, can help your healthcare provider make informed recommendations about your care.
  • The results of this test may help limit the spread of COVID-19 to your family and others in your community.

If you have a positive test result, it is very likely that you have COVID-19. Therefore, it is also likely that you may be placed in isolation to avoid spreading the virus to others. There is a very small chance that this test can give a positive result that is wrong (a false positive result). Your healthcare provider will work with you to determine how best to care for you based on the test results along with other factors of your medical history, and your symptoms, possible exposures, and geographic location of places you have recently traveled.

A negative test result means that the virus that causes COVID-19 was not found in your sample. For COVID-19, a negative test result for a sample collected while a person has symptoms usually means that COVID-19 did not cause your recent illness.

However, it is possible for this test to give a negative result that is incorrect (false negative) in some people with COVID-19. This means that you could possibly still have COVID-19 even though the test is negative. If you become symptomatic despite a negative test result, you should consult with your healthcare provider.  Your healthcare provider will consider the test result together with all other aspects of your medical history (such as symptoms, possible exposures, and geographical location of places you have recently traveled) in deciding how to care for you.

It is important that you work with your healthcare provider to help you understand the next steps you should take.

No. This test is not yet approved or cleared by the United States FDA. When there are no FDA-approved or cleared tests available, and other criteria are met, FDA can make tests available that are developed in a diagnostic laboratory.  The FDA does not require this test to go through premarket FDA approval.   The Laboratory is registered\ under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) as qualified to perform high-complexity clinical laboratory testing.

Collaborators in UW’s Public COVID-19 Testing Program

ACSD #1: Albany County School District. Features a round logo depicting mountains and pine trees.
Laramie Interfaith: Neighbors Helping Neighbors. The logo features a simple design tying several small circles to a larger, center circle.
Laramie Main Street Alliance. The logo features two versions of the letter L in two distinct typographies.
The Alliance: Laramie Chamber Business Alliance. The logo has a mountain spanning the length of the word "Alliance."

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