Conduit’s Fast-Acting COVID-19 Saliva Test Could Allay Fears

Deidra Ramsey McIntyre
10 min readNov 13, 2020
Illustrations by Laura Makaltses & Russell Tate. UN COVID-19 Global Call Out to Creatives / Unsplash.

Two weeks from Thanksgiving in the US and many Americans doubt if they should congregate in-person. While COVID-19 dampened summertime fun with spikes and falls of hospitalizations and deaths, the US has experienced a new autumn surge in numbers coinciding with the reopening of schools and businesses nationwide.

A closing self-quarantine window looms for Thanksgiving 2020 as the seemingly well join the presumably ill on coronavirus testing site lines with hopes of visiting family members for closer-to-normal feast-day gatherings. The CDC recommends a 14-day self-quarantine before and after the holiday even when a CDC doctor notes a month-long self-quarantine may be impractical. Six days after the 2020 US Elections, the first American pharmaceutical companies announced a vaccine candidate but it still could be months before any Americans have access.

A scientific industry startup is hedging a bet its take-home saliva test Conduit’s nanoSPLASH would make Americans feel safer in gathering with one another.

Brief Perspective of COVID-19 Testing

“We have to do the same thing as everybody else. I went through the Department of Health, found a local testing site, and did the nasal swab,” Registered Nurse Tonya Barksdale explained.

Barksdale, of Atlanta, traveled to New York when the pandemic hit and served a New York City metropolitan area hospital in its COVID-19 unit from April until June. In July, she headed south to Texas and worked COVID-19 units from July through September. She took COVID-19 tests in New York, Texas, and most recently back home in Georgia.

“[Hospital staff was] sent offsite to get tested even when there are tests in the hospital. In New York, you had to go to Employee Health — a division of the hospital system — and they had different hours. At Employee Health you get tests but we weren’t required often only when we first started [working with COVID-19 patients]. In New York, we were not screened every day. No requirements like every two weeks get tested. This was in April,” she said.

“Even when I was in the facilities in the hospitals they had the kits we always did the nasopharyngeal (the nose swab) on patients. You would think that because we are in…

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Deidra Ramsey McIntyre

Black People & Cryptocurrency Founder. 1990s Journalist turned dotcomer. One time Brooklyn public high school teacher. Now, Bitcoin believer and blockchainer.