A COVID-19 rapid testing clinic has launched at the University of British Columbia (UBC) as part of a new study.
The clinic launched on May 26 and will run for 13 weeks. It’s located on the university’s Vancouver campus, on the third floor of the Orchard Commons residence.
According to UBC, the new clinic is an extension of a rapid testing pilot that took place earlier this year. While it’s operational, researchers will conduct clinical trials to examine the viability of self-administered rapid screening tests.
Dr. Sabrina Wong, who is a UBC Nursing and Centre of Health Services and Policy Research professor, as well as lead researcher of the study, says that the test has the potential to be used by the public across the country.
“As part of this clinic, our research team is collecting data to determine the viability of self-administered rapid COVID-19 testing technology for potential use by the public across Canada,” Wong explains in a release. “If this self-swab proves to be effective, it has the potential to be used in a number of settings and by the public across the country.”
The clinic is open to students that live in residence, varsity athletes, and those attending select in-person classes. It will also be open to faculty members and critical service employees.
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Participants will need to be asymptomatic and over the age of 16. Students, faculty, and staff who have received a COVID-19 vaccination can be tested, although they won’t be able to participate in the research aspect of the study.
The clinic will use the Roche SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Test Kit. UBC is also the first in Canada to use this specific rapid test in a university setting.
Participants will use a self-administered nasal swab. Unlike the PCR test, the sample is collected from the front of the nose instead of the nasopharynx. A visit will take approximately 30 minutes, with results ready after 15 minutes.
While being screened, visitors will have the option to participate in the clinical trial. After conducting a self-swab, a nurse will also conduct a PCR test to help to determine the accuracy and sensitivity of the rapid antigen test kit.
The Roche SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen test is currently under review by Health Canada for nasal collection.