After successfully completing three rounds of re-entry testing among students, instructors and staff, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln will shift to a weekly random mitigation testing program.
As announced in a Feb. 15 email from Chancellor Ronnie Green, the new protocol will randomly select a certain percentage of the campus community each week to participate in required COVID-19 saliva-based testing. The program will begin Feb. 18.
“The results of our re-entry testing have been very good — in each round of testing, our positivity rate has gone down,” Green said. “This shows that we have been able to isolate positive case of COVID-19 quickly, and that your actions have helped to prevent any spread on our campus.
“This random testing program will allow us to continue to isolate positive cases and help us contain asymptomatic spread on our campus.”
Those selected weekly through the random mitigation program will be notified on Thursdays and will be asked to complete a saliva-based test on campus by the following Wednesday. Testing is required to be completed by the following Friday. For example, Huskers selected Feb. 18 should complete one test by Feb. 24. If testing with a negative result is not completed by end of the day on Feb. 26, building access will shift to a denied status. A negative test result will be required to reinstate building access.
If concentrated cases develop on campus, groups of students, instructors or staff may be required to participate in regular saliva testing for a period of time.
“Should things change considerably on our campus, we may need to resume regular testing for anyone who will be on campus,” Green said. “We hope that will not be the case, but the safety of our community will be our guide.”
Only those members of the university community who have been participating in the re-entry testing will be included in the random mitigation program.
The university’s saliva-based testing will continue to be available to anyone who wishes to test more regularly or for students, instructors and staff who decide to come to campus during the spring semester.
The university continues to offer testing for anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 through the TestNebraska site (located on 17th Street, between Vine and R streets) and the University Health Center.