Urgent action: Volunteers needed to evaluate rapid COVID-19 testing

Washington University is seeking 500 employee or student volunteers for a pilot to test the feasibility of large-scale rapid COVID-19 testing. The test uses a saliva sample that is collected by spitting in a vial marked with a de-identified QR code.

The purpose of the pilot is to determine if it is possible to collect a large number of saliva samples on campus in one day and transport them to the laboratory for testing. Volunteers will not receive test results. The pilot is laying a foundation for more widespread saliva testing on campus, which will be formally tested in a research study that will seek additional volunteers and return test results to participants.

To volunteer for the pilot:

  • Pick up a test kit Tuesday, July 14, at one of these screening sites: McDonnell Medical Sciences Building entrance (across from Shell Café); Mid Campus Center first floor; Institute of Health first floor; or Northwest Tower (across from FedEx).
  • Go to a private area to provide a saliva sample or take the test kit home to provide a sample.
  • Visit https://mgitest.wustl.edu and answer two preference questions.
  • Return specimen to campus entry screening staff who will scan the QR code.

Instructions for collecting a saliva sample will be provided with each test kit. Samples must be returned by 3 p.m. Wednesday, July 15.

Participants in the pilot study can enter a drawing for one of six $50 cash gift cards. To enter, bring a piece of paper with your name and phone number on it when you submit your saliva sample. The drawing will take place Wednesday afternoon and winners will be contacted via phone.