The Seven Hills Conference Room on the first floor of Wasylean Hall has been transformed into Worcester State’s COVID-19 testing center, with more than 900 students, faculty, and staff already checking in for their required test over the past few days. The facility, overseen by Paul Vernucci, Worcester State’s newly hired COVID-19 response coordinator, will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Resident students, commuters with on-campus classes, and faculty and staff working on campus will sign up for testing on their phone using an app called CoVerified. The test is self-administered—with oversight of a trained observer—and takes about three minutes from check-in to completion. Results will be sent within 24 hours directly to the test taker through CoVerified and will also be shared with Health Services and the city’s Department of Public Health.
Campus testing results are scheduled to be posted to a dashboard, accessible from the Safe Return website (www.worcester.edu/safe-return ), starting on Thursday, Sept. 3. These results will be updated on a weekly basis.
Those found to be positive for the virus will be required to isolate in their homes, apartments, or in designated campus housing for at least 10 days, the last three of which they must be symptom free. Prior to returning to campus activities, an individual will need clearance from their local Boards of Health. Contact tracing procedures will be followed to alert others of potential exposure.
In a message to campus, President Barry M. Maloney wrote that Vernucci will be “a vital resource as we successfully transition to our return to campus.”
Vernucci most recently served as public health advisor for Caduceus Healthcare, Inc. in Atlanta, where he assessed training needs of public health advisors, Centers for Disease Control staff, and quarantine medical officers, and provided training on new screening protocols and procedures. He holds a master’s in public health from Rivier University and two bachelor degrees (health management and information technology) from Northeastern University. Vernucci will work directly with Lisa Gaimari in Student Health Services and will supervise Covid-19 self-administered tests and reporting.