Finally, a Covid testing plan that makes sense to me…

Tip of the hat to Georgetown on this one.
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Last week, I did some reading re: the Herculean challenges facing colleges as they contemplate when and how to re-open.

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In a nutshell, residence colleges face three major challenges:

  1. Staying afloat financially
  2. Delivering a valuable education
  3. Keeping their campuses healthy

One aspect of healthy campuses is instituting a comprehensive Covid testing program.

Many schools are rationalizing  away the need for testing, arguing that tests aren’t sufficiently accurate and that they cost too much to administer. Source

That’s not the approach that Georgetown is taking…

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When I received an email outlining Georgetown’s current re-opening plan, I was really impressed with the Covid testing protocol.

For context, GU is throttling student’s return.

The biggest group invited to campus is entering freshmen who will all be housed in single rooms.

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Here’s the testing program…

Pre-arrival testing

Before setting foot on campus in the fall:

All students, faculty, staff, and other members of the Georgetown community will be required to complete a COVID-19 test, with an at-home test kit provided by the University.

Check-in testing

Upon arrival to campus or the surrounding neighborhoods for the first time in the semester, we will require two additional tests — one within 24 hours of arrival and another within five days of arrival.

On-going testing

On an ongoing basis, we will test all symptomatic individuals and students, faculty, or staff who are close contacts of positive test cases.

Asymptomatic individuals may request a test from the University, which we will provide depending on availability.

We will also deploy routine, randomized, and asymptomatic testing to proactively monitor for signs of community spread on campus.

Individuals who test positive for Covid will be isolated and provided appropriate medical care, presumably in concert with the campus-located Georgetown University Hospital.

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Note that this isn’t just a plan to test students who exhibit Covid-like symptoms.

Rather, the program (1) covers all students, faculty and support staff (2) requires multiple check-in tests — practically eliminating any issues with false negative test results (3) provides testing of asymptomatic individuals on a regular randomized basis.

About the only thing I’d add to the program is a required test of all students before they head home for Thanksgiving break … make sure that no students spread the virus to unsuspecting friends & family back home.

Other schools would be well advised to take a look at what Georgetown is planning to do…

2 Responses to “Finally, a Covid testing plan that makes sense to me…”

  1. Mike Says:

    Finally…..” We will also deploy routine, randomized, and asymptomatic testing to proactively monitor for signs of community spread on campus.”

    That’s the stuff right there!

  2. Da Cuz Says:

    Ken
    That is a terrific plan and I agree on adding the pre- Thanksgiving testing. Hope they add it
    Da Cuz

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