Utah State University has expanded COVID-19 testing for employees and students on the Logan Campus by way of a new testing site just east of Maverik Stadium.
Now, university students, faculty and staff will all have access to testing with results in 24 to 48 hours, according to a statement released Monday. Testing is free to students and employees by way of funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
According to university spokesperson Tim Vitale, containment and speed of response are the primary focus.
“We know that the numbers are going up, so this gives us a tool for rapid response,” Vitale said. “We’re really trying to contain COVID when it arises — get on it as quickly as possible.”
The university has been offering tests to students with COVID-19 symptoms at the Student Health and Wellness Center prior to the new site. But now, with testing available to employees as well as to those without symptoms who may have been exposed, the university believes the site will be a boon to COVID-19 containment efforts.
“Making testing easily accessible on campus will be a huge boost to our case containment efforts,” said USU President Noelle Cockett in the press release. “We’ll be able to increase the number who are getting tested, get results quickly, and isolate and quarantine appropriate individuals. All of these things are critical in stopping the chain of transmission.
According to the statement, USU’s COVID-19 testing site and lab will process 180 tests per day, and positive test results will be sent to the USU case containment team so students and employees are contacted quickly with isolation or quarantine instructions.
“Providing testing will help us better monitor for COVID-19 in the campus community, and, combined with wastewater monitoring, can help us identify potential clusters of cases,” said USU emergency management director Ellis Bruch in the press release.
Vitale said the university’s response to the global pandemic on a localized scale is always evolving. Sometimes daily adjustments are necessary as new information emerges and new tools and regulations develop. But, he said, that’s not out of the ordinary for a research university making decisions on data.
“We’re all in — everybody’s in,” Vitale said. “We recognize we’re not the only ones dealing with this. We’re not isolated at Utah State University — this country, the world is dealing with this.”
The university launched a new webpage to explain how students and employees can access COVID-19 testing. For more information, visit www.usu.edu/covid-19/testing.