“The nasal self-swab is common for community testing now,” said Danyelle McNeill spokesperson for ADH. “This method is less invasive – the swab does not have to go as far back in the nostril – and the self-collection allows for social distancing.”

Don’t want a long swab up your nose scalping you brain? Many testing sites are now offering the nasal-self swab, which provides accurate results without the discomfort. The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) said this is different from the nasopharyngeal swab.

There’s no longer a requirement to take temperatures, contact is extremely limited, and staff will be six feet away from patients.

“The nasal self-swab is common for community testing now,” said Danyelle McNeill spokesperson for ADH. “This method is less invasive – the swab does not have to go as far back in the nostril – and the self-collection allows for social distancing.”

Temeka Smith, who worked with someone who tested positive, went to her local health department to get tested for COVID-19.

Instead of the invasive and unpleasant nasal test she had seen on social media by others who had taken the test, she was handed a swab that looked like a large Q-tips and was told to collect her own samples.

“I received instructions about what I needed to do and they watched me to made sure I did it right,” said Smith. “I placed it halfway in my nose and swirled it around.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized, as an alternative to nasopharyngeal specimen collection, anterior nares specimen by onsite self-collection or by a healthcare professional (using a round foam swab) for the novel coronavirus. This testing method is less invasive and is safer for both individuals and healthcare professionals.

According to ADH a healthcare professional must observe an individual self-swabbing. If the lane is established with a table and a healthcare observer on both sides of the car, then testing could be done on personnel on both sides of the car.

If only one lane is set up, then, there can only be two individuals who can be swabbed per vehicle – the individual in the driver’s seat and the individual behind the driver.

Though medical professionals state no test is ever 100% accurate, self-swabs are just as reliable as the nasopharyngeal test according to ADH, which goes all the way to the back of the nose and is extremely uncomfortable.

The steps simply are

• First, you're handed a swab and a tube

• Next, open the swab and remove from the pouch

• Tilt head back slightly, insert swab into left nostril, rotate twice and hold for a 15 seconds

• Repeat on the other nostril

• Once you're down, place the swab into the tube, seal and return to heath care worker.

There will be no direct contact between the individual and site personnel. The healthcare professional will be observing the individual self-swabbing from a distance of 6 feet or greater.

Local attorney, Furonda Brasfield of the Law Office of Furonda Brasfield, PLLC, documented her self-swab experience on social media to show everyone exactly what the test is all about.

Receiving her test at Walgreens in Little Rock, Brasfield said she had a contactless COVID-19 testing experience.

“I don’t feel bad but we all could be running around here asymptomatic so I am going to get a COVID test,” said Brasfield during her video documentary. “I will feel better about going around my family.”

Brasfield said while in court she tries to remain at a safe distance from everyone else but when she goes to the store that is where she experiences noncompliance from patrons.

“They won’t wear masks in the store so I’m sure I have been exposed to COVID-19,” said Brasfield. “I’m sure we have all been exposed to it.”

A study led by UnitedHealth Group, showed the self-administered test is just as "effective in identifying Covid-19 infections as the current clinician-collected test," adding that results of the self-administered tests where consistent with those of the clinician-collected tests. The tests also reduces exposure for health care workers.

Many sites are providing same day results while other results are available in 48 to 72 hours.

The Arkansas Department of Health’s Local Health Units across the state offers self-swab COVID-19 tests.

Testing is encouraged for all individuals who believe they have had contact with or been exposed to a positive case as well as anyone who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough or shortness of breath.

Tests will also be offered to anyone with or without symptoms who lives in or has traveled to an area experiencing active transmission.

Those seeking a test should confirm that the health unit is open and call ahead for an appointment so that staff can prepare and ensure safe spacing between patients.

There is no out-of-pocket cost for the tests.

Testing that has been administered for Arkansas as of June 25 is 125,002 with the bulk of testing done by private or commercial labs.

McNeill said their (ADH) goal is to test as many people as possible.