COVID-19 PCR Testing Available at St. John’s University

Student administering a covid-19 test with a St. John's College of Pharmacy Employee overseeing
February 25, 2022

As cities and states across the country cautiously begin to move from the COVID-19 crisis mode of the last two years and lift certain COVID-19 restrictions, the need for testing continues. Providing that professional and pedagogical community service is the St. John’s University Clinical Laboratory.

The laboratory offers reliable saliva SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR testing for $110, which may be reimbursable by your insurance provider. The only acceptable form of payment is credit card. The RT-PCR saliva test meets standard travel requirements for airlines and international travel.

All patients must preregister, and results are provided in 24 hours. Currently, the lab does not accept walk-ins.

Operating in a tent in the plaza outside of Carnesecca Arena at the Queens, NY, campus, the service is available to the local community. Tests are administered by clinical laboratory staff under the direction of Marc E. Gillespie, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

“Since the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, St. John’s University has worked to provide COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, counseling, and a variety of other support services as we navigate living and learning during this global pandemic,” observed Dr. Gillespie.

“Our work continues, as does our commitment to providing public health services in a clinical setting.”

The saliva SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test is a US Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorization test. It is a multiplexed, highly sensitive, and reliable assay for the qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in saliva collected from individuals suspected of COVID-19. It uses a multitarget design to compensate for current and future viral variants.

Sample collection is easy and noninvasive. A 0.5 milliliter of saliva is collected in a sterile container under the supervision of a St. John’s University clinical lab staff member.

At present, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the following recommendations for who should consider being tested:

People who have symptoms of COVID-19

People who have been exposed to someone who was/is COVID-19 positive

People who plan to go to an indoor gathering or event with others who are not in their household

People who are not fully vaccinated and must travel domestically. Travelers should get a viral test one to three days before their trip and three to five days upon return.

All people travelling internationally must follow their destination’s testing requirements before travel. If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel abroad, get a viral test one to three days before your trip.

Testing is suggested if you suspect or experience a personal exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.