Neumann University was able to quickly test 331 students for COVID-19 before they moved into residence halls Jan. 15 and 16 to start the spring sememster.
Of the 331, two tested positive for COVID. The two were given a list of sites where they can get PCR tests and they were asked to quarantine at home.
Once they email negative test results to the university, they can be cleared to live on campus.
All of Neumann’s more than 500 students who moved into residence facilities for the spring semester were asked to present evidence of a negative COVID-19 test, taken within 72 hours of their return to campus in Aston, or take a self-administered test upon arrival.
The rapid testing on site was possible because of a mobile testing lab from FlowMetric Life Sciences in Doylestown.
The lab was first developed for military field-testing operations.
Neumann covered the costs of the on-campus tests, all processed within 60-90 minutes in a mobile lab,
The lab was equipped with three medical technicians and completed test results for up to 30 individuals per hour.
Students were assigned a specific time between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to report, in their vehicles, to one of three tents in the parking lot of Neumann’s athletic complex.
If they had proof of a recent negative test, they were permitted to move into residence halls immediately.
If they did not have documentation of a recent test, students were given a test to self-administer on the spot.
Neumann graduate nursing students and laboratory personnel from FlowMetric, which also supplied the rapid antigen testing kits, were on hand to instruct and assist the students.
After completing the test, students were given a number to place on the dashboard of their car and directed to a parking area to await results. Those whose tests were negative were given a clearance pass to grant them access to the residence halls.
“Safeguarding our Neumann University campus community and creating a safe and healthy learning environment is of utmost importance,” said Dr. Chris Domes, Neumann’s president. “FlowMetric’s mobile lab and high-quality testing capabilities are allowing us to do that by facilitating the testing of hundreds of students.”
This on-campus testing was FlowMetric’s first large-scale COVID screening event for the mobile lab. Ongoing, random testing of residential students will continue at Neumann throughout the spring semester.
Because of the current surge in COVID-19 cases in the region, Neumann delayed the start of undergraduate classes for eight days until Tuesday, Jan. 19.
Fifty-five percent of spring courses will be conducted entirely online. The rest will be a mix of hybrid and small in-person classes. This plan is the same approach to academic instruction that the university used in the fall.