Smaller test tubes for COVID-19 testing at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Under the current process, students, faculty members and staff provide a small saliva sample into a large test tube. With the new process, participants will use a straw to deposit a saliva sample into a smaller test tube. The shift in process will provide benefits to the on-campus testing:

A more efficient, automated process.
Faster lab processing of test results.
Fewer invalid or inconclusive results.
Reduced plastic waste.
The new process will be introduced at one testing location Monday and a second on Tuesday. The university will eventually transition all of the on-campus testing sites to the new tube size. Employees at the testing sites will explain how to use the straw and the smaller tube. The rest of the on-campus testing process will remain the same.

The university has administered nearly 1 million COVID-19 saliva-based tests to faculty members, staff and students since opening test sites in July.