Testing

First Week’s Testing Results Show No Positive Cases

September 8, 2020
By: Kristen O'Reilly

Opening week of the fall semester ended on a high note, with no positive cases reported after the first round of on-campus COVID-19 testing. In total, 1,432 tests were completed over five days by all resident students and some commuters, faculty, and staff, depending on how often they are on campus and interacting with others.

Weekly results are scheduled to be posted on Thursday evenings to the COVID-19 Testing Dashboard [https://www.worcester.edu/COVID19-Testing-Dashboard/], which will also include cumulative on-campus totals and data released from the city of Worcester.

President Barry M. Maloney said the dashboard, as well as a 30-minute weekly briefing on Fridays at 9:30 a.m. to contextualize the data, are “part University’s efforts to make sure we are keeping our campus community well informed and thus safe.”

In the first briefing on Friday, Sept. 4, Worcester State’s COVID-19 response coordinator, Paul Vernucci, reported that testing at the facility on the first floor of Wasylean Hall has gone smoothly. Students, faculty, and staff can schedule a test time through the CoVerified app, although walk-ins are also accepted. The self-administered test takes about three minutes to complete.

Couriers take the collected samples to the Broad Institute in Cambridge twice a day, at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., and results are being returned within 24 hours, according to Vernucci. Maloney added that The Broad, which is handling testing for many other colleges and universities in the state, is now conducting one out of every 20 tests in the entire country.

A new web page detailing “rules for pivoting,” will be posted soon. The page will spell out criteria for when the campus mode of operation may change due to results of on-campus testing or any changes in state or city guidance. For instance, a certain level of positive cases might trigger a pivot to all classes being taught remotely.

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