What steps should I take to help ensure my Shield T3 saliva PCR test is successful ?

Please help us ensure that your T3 saliva PCR test is successful. The day of your test on campus, we ask that you please follow these important steps for obtaining a readable test result:

  • Water hydration well before the appointment is critical to a successful saliva test. Please attempt to drink 8 ounces of water every hour leading up to your test time and stop drinking water 30 minutes before your test.
  • Drinking soda, coffee or tea within two hours of test time without thoroughly rinsing the mouth with water will make the test unreliable when read by the PCR testing machine. To ensure that your sample can be read, please do not drink soda, coffee, tea or Gatorade one hour before the test, and be sure to rinse with water 30 minutes prior to testing. 
  • Eating any type of food or chewing gum within two hours of test time without thoroughly rinsing your mouth with water also will affect the PCR machine’s ability to read your sample. Please do not eat food or chew gum one hour before the test and, again, be sure to rinse with water 30 minutes prior to testing.
  • Any bubbles in the sample will affect the readability of the  sample. To help prevent this, it is important to drool (not spit) onto the outer edge of the funnel. This will capture pure saliva without bubbles in the vial.
  • An invalid or rejected test sample means saliva leaked because the cap was not tight on the tube; not enough saliva was captured without bubbles; less than 1 milliliter of saliva in the tube was provided; or food, coffee, tea, Gatorade particles and/or discoloration appeared in the sample. 

By following the above guidelines, you can help ensure that your sample is readable by the T3 testing machinery.  

We appreciate your help in making our testing program successful. If you have any questions regarding these steps to preventing invalid or rejected Shield T3 saliva samples, please contact um.covidtesting@maine.edu.