People can be taught to do their own nasal swabs for accurate COVID-19 testing, limiting the exposure of health care workers and the use of protective equipment, according to Stanford researchers.
Test samples collected by people who swabbed their own nasal passages yielded results for the COVID-19 virus that were as accurate as samples collected by a health care worker, according to a small study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
The 30 study participants previously had tested positive for COVID-19.
The study was published June 12 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Allowing people who suspect they may have COVID-19 to collect their own sample has many advantages. Sample-collection kits could be widely distributed, allowing more people to be tested. Those using the kit wouldn’t have to travel to a testing site, negating the risk of transmission to health care workers and others with whom they interact in transit. Self-collection would also conserve supplies of personal protective equipment used by health care workers.