Annenberg Radio

USC testing locations no longer offering full saliva testing kits

Pop testing locations at USC have stopped handing out saliva collections kits to students. Now, they are only given a new test tube.

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Save those funnels! As COVID population testing ramps up, testing locations are no longer giving out full saliva testing kits. Students feel it’s an inconvenience, but are mostly understanding of the change. Jason Chua has more.

Save those funnels indeed. USC students dropping off their saliva tests this week found out they were getting a bit less than what they are used to.

Pop testing locations are no longer giving out saliva collection kits to students who drop off their samples. Instead, they’re only being provided with a new test tube, sans funnel, straw and bag.

We ran into a few students at the recently added USC Bookstore drop-off location.

JADE ZHU: I live in the village, so I think this is the closest one to me.

That is Jade Zhu, a freshman business admin and art history major from Philadelphia. She just dropped off her sample.

ZHU: I don’t think they’re giving out more funnels anymore so I’m going to just keep using this one from now.

In the beginning of the semester, saliva testing was the only choice for pop testing. Now, swab testing is not only available, but encouraged. Swab testing participants are entered into daily drawings for bookstore gift cards.

Some students, like Natalia Osuna, like the swab test, citing its convenience and speed.

OSUNA: I would say I prefer the swab test because it’s just much quicker to do. You can do it just in like a minute or two. It’s a lot easier as well to do that than to spend like I don’t know how long spitting and a little tube.

While the change is inconvenient, some students, like Huamin Li, acknowledge the potential benefits of not providing full kits.

LI: I don’t think it’s a good decision for a student to reuse it, but I would say it’s good for the environment.

So remember, for your next pop test, consider a swab test or remember to not toss and save that funnel.

For Annenberg Media, I’m Jason Chua. Bryan Sarabia contributed to this report.