Education briefs: Catawba tests everyone on campus for COVID-19

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 28, 2021

SALISBURY — Catawba College met the challenge of testing everyone who will be on campus this semester for COVID-19

The spring on-campus semester began Monday, with all the rapid testing wrapped up Sunday.

The majority of testing was a drive-thru format held at Robertson Community college Center and began on Jan. 20 with 200 faculty and staff being tested.

A total of 550 students were tested Thursday through Sunday. College athletes were tested earlier by athletic trainers, upon their return to campus.

“This was an additional safety measure to ensure that we start spring as strong as we did last fall,”  said Valerie Rakes, Chair of the Department of Nursing/School of Health Sciences and Human Performance. “Last fall, Catawba did not have to implement remote instruction, due to the meticulous monitoring and policies in place for COVID-19.”

Jim Hand, Dean of Health Sciences and Human Performance, said this type of service not aligned with Catawba’s values and provided clinical experience for nursing students.

The tests had a 15 minutes turnaround time. Everyone who was tested waited in their cars to receive their results. To date, 62 students and four Catawba faculty have tested positive for COVID-19

Constance Rogers-Lowery, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, said the entry testing and upcoming random testing gives the college another tool to keep the campus safe.

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