To ensure student and faculty safety, many schools sent students home, moved to distance or hybrid learning models, and implemented social distancing, mask requirements, and other protocols. These only address safety. Your mission is education, and we know students learn better in person (1). The outcome is both students and educational institutions taking a hit.
According to the NY Times, the pandemic has cost colleges at least $120 billion (2).
According to Gallop, 55% of students pursuing their bachelor's degree say the pandemic will impede their ability to graduate (3).
Further, students are the life of your college campus, and we want to help provide for their safe return.
Colleges and universities are already using mitigation testing to limit SARS-CoV-2 transmission and keep incidence low, helping enable in-person learning and the higher education experience expected at their institutions.
Selecting the appropriate test type is a highly important step in implementing an on-campus testing strategy. When testing an entire campus community regularly, it is important to note that scalable, highly accurate solutions with a large throughput, such as PCR or fast PCR, are likely to be more practical than point-of-care solutions, such as RADT.
Institutions with a strong medical center have RT-qPCR testing capability on site. However, some of those academic medical centers don’t have the capacity, staff, or infrastructure to support regular, recurring testing to mitigate the spread of the virus.
There are fully integrated service providers that can run and support an entire testing program to get you up and running as fast as possible. And when cost containment is required, certain aspects of testing can be brought in-house.
In order to help ensure safety for both students and staff so that campus life can return to “new-normal”, it is important to conduct testing on a regular and on-going basis.
One-time testing upon entry may provide a snapshot at a single point in time, but it does not provide the full picture needed to help keep the community safe over time. Therefore, the testing strategy that is implemented should include a plan for sample collection, testing, reporting, contact tracing, and quarantine. These guidelines are conducive to testing procedures that are accurate and accessible.
We know you have questions. Please take a moment to read through our comprehensive, non-technical guide on how to approach mitigation testing on campus.
Helping keep people safe: A guide to population testing options for SARS-CoV-2
If you’re responsible for COVID-19 safety at a university, school, or workplace, testing of students or employees can be a key strategy to reduce the spread of the virus—while also helping you return to something closer to normal.
This guide can help you understand and evaluate the testing options available to your organization.
Our team understands the needs of designing solutions to help enable students to return to life on campus. We provide a suite of options and a network for service providers that can accommodate your specific needs. Our capabilities and lab partners include options for medium and high-volume testing. Our options offer:
- An established and reliable supply chain to enable testing continuity
- Confidence in working with a global leader in COVID-19 testing
- Cost-effective workflows for high-frequency, asymptomatic testing