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…



Deidra Ramsey McIntyre

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