Schreiner University conducted its ninth week of surveillance testing for COVID-19 in accordance with the University’s published protocols.
Under the direction of Peterson Health, the University conducted 85 student tests and 19 employee tests.
These were rapid response tests that are statistically unlikely to return a false positive. After analyzing the tests at Peterson Regional Medical Center, all tests were negative.
“This is good news, but remember to wear your mask, maintain social distance, and wash your hands frequently,” said Dr. Charlie McCormick, Schreiner University president, in a statement to the campus. “We still have three more surveillance testing cycles before the end of the term. I remind everyone, too, that this is an update regarding our Surveillance Testing protocol only. It is not a report regarding anyone who is symptomatic, who has participated in diagnostic testing, or who is in isolation because of a potential exposure.”
For additional coronavirus information regarding the regional, county, and campus environments, see Scheiner's COVID dashboard at schreiner.edu/covid-19-update/.
“I have received questions about why - since we had some of our community members test positive - we do not test everyone in the campus community,” continued McCormick. “There is a logistical challenge in accomplishing this with our local resources, but the bigger problem is that the virus can incubate for up to two weeks. This means that any test we conduct on one day may be inaccurate the next day, as some people may be tested early in the virus's incubation cycle. This is why the CDC recommends continued surveillance testing of a sample of asymptomatic individuals: it is an effective strategy for determining the extent to which the virus is spreading within a community. We continue to do diagnostic testing if someone is symptomatic, but contact tracing and isolation are still necessary because of the length of time medical professionals have determined the virus can incubate.
“By combining diagnostic and surveillance testing with contact tracing and protective protocols (mask-wearing, social distancing, and washing hands), we are better equipped to identify potential clusters before the virus is spread,” McCormick continued. “It remains important to rigorously adhere to our protocols. Most specifically, our contact tracing has informed us the most effective means of limiting the potential spread of COVID-19 is to wear masks when visiting other individuals, such as in student residences or in offices. I hope this helps people understand why we pursue the surveillance testing strategy.”
The campus remains closed to the general public at this time.