TTUSHC Provost explains testing for COVID-19

TTUSHC Provost explains testing for COVID-19 - clipped version

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - So what happens when you get tested for coronavirus?

It’s not a blood test.

It’s much more similar to getting tested for the flu except that it may come in 3 parts. Dr. Lori Rice-Spearman is the newly named Provost at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center who also happens to be a clinical lab scientist. She says this is what you can expect.

“We’re typically trying to get 3 specimens, either a nasal swab which is when we try to go to the back cavity of the nose to get a specimen. We’re also getting an oral swab which is very similar in the throat. If you’ve ever had strep and you’ve had to have a throat culture, it’s that same exact procedure. And the third type of specimen that we may be collecting is a sputum specimen and that’s something that you might cough up out of your lungs that can be collected and used also.”

Dr. Rice-Spearman says the test is not painful but it can be uncomfortable.

So what happens next? Where does the test go? And how soon can you learn the results?

Dr. Lori Rice-Spearman explains, ‘It’s certainly not painful but if you’ve ever had an accident or

bumped your nose hard, or you’ve ever had a scratch inside your nose, your nose is a very sensitive

organ on your body. So yes, it can be a little uncomfortable. It’s certainly not painful and it’s very quick.

Most Nasal Pharyngeal swabs can be done in one or two seconds.

Those individuals collecting the test, they are going to have one what we call professional or personal protection equipment. They’ll probably have on masks. They’ll have on gloves and also have gowns on and this will help protect them.

So once the specimens are collected on the swabs and we collect a sputum specimen, we’re going to

put that specimen in a transport medium and we can take that specimen and put it into storage.

Anywhere between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius And a specimen can be stored for up to 3 days at this temperature.

During this time period, the specimen will be transported to a testing center. We are fortunate to have one right

here in Lubbock. But this particular testing center in Lubbock also serves 67 counties in Texas. So there will be

a line, so to speak, to get this specimen tested. Now, the laboratory is not going to report a positive directly to

the patient.

Check out this video to learn more from Dr. Lori Rice-Spearman on where the information goes after your test is

complete and how you can learn the results.

Copyright 2020 KCBD. All rights reserved.