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Tuesday, Feb 16, 2021 at 10:08 pm

SU Updates COVID-19 Testing Protocol

Lindsey Fine, SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Syracuse University updated the COVID-19 testing protocol for the spring 2021 semester. Changes in SU’s plan include a new test and students getting tested weekly. 

SU switched to Yale University’s testing method, SalivaDirect, for campus-wide testing this semester. The new test offers faster results and is less expensive for the university to administer due to the large quantities that can be grouped together for processing, SU’s official COVID-19 testing information page said. 

“I understand that they chose [the SalivaDirect method] because it is quicker, which I think makes sense if you are trying to catch an outbreak before it spreads,” said junior Danny Dacus who got tested on Tuesday.

Students should get results from the SalivaDirect method within 24 to 36 hours of getting tested, SU’s official COVID-19 testing information page said. SU emails students who test negative for COVID-19 and calls the ones who test positive. 

The new plan included students getting tested weekly, and if students did not get tested within 7 days they were blocked from all university systems including the campus WiFi network, Blackboard, course registration and MySlice, SU’s official COVID-19 testing information page said. 

Lisa Olson-Gugerty, an associate teaching professor in SU’s public health department, said increasing the frequency of students being tested was crucial to SU’s success this semester. 

“I think it’s a good approach,” Olson-Gugerty said. “It helps to monitor and manage in a more organized way and probably more efficient way and a more accurate account of the incidents of COVID on campus.”

SU plans to administer between 250,000 to 300,000 COVID-19 tests this semester, which is over twice the amount of tests conducted in the fall.