Unique technology gets local students tested for COVID-19

Unique technology gets local students tested for COVID-19

GOSHEN, Ky. (WAVE) - Parents planning on sending their kids back to in-person classes lined up at St. Francis School in Goshen, sat with their kids and then spit into a tube to get their COVID results within 48 hours.

“It makes all of our teachers feel safer, families safer and makes students feel comfortable,” said Siofra Rucker, of St. Francis Advancement and Internal Affairs. “In the end, we just want to have the children back in school.”

Tuesday, the options to get tested were through a nasal swab or saliva in a tube.

Andrew Ignatow registered his family to get tested. It was the sole reason his 8th-grade daughter is returning to class when winter break is over.

“Honestly, this place is giving us a lot of confidence,” Ignatow said. “They’re doing everything right, communicating right, taking the precautions. You can only do so much, but we’re confident in what they’ve been doing.”

Sam Miller, Vice President of Operations at Pearl Labs, said the Yale School of Medicine began working on the saliva testing method. When testing was rolled out, cotton swab and tube testing weren’t as readily available. Researchers began looking into an alternative. Miller and Pearl Labs began inquiring and getting resources to help out the local communities throughout the commonwealth. Miller said the main difference between the two tests is that biology allows the DNA proteins, which house the COVID-19 virus, show up in the mouth one to two days sooner through saliva than through the nose.

”(Researchers) wanted to bring something that was a lower cost to the public,” Miller said. “(Then it) turned out it was a better test, (and) envisioned it to get (students) back to school.”

Saint Francis staff said about 400 families registered to get tested, since semester break is over on Monday for K-12 students.

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