Salisbury University will now be offering rapid antigen coronavirus testing for the spring semester in addition to its Polymerase Chain Reaction tests from the fall, according to Director of Student Health Services Vicki Lentz.
Though the rapid tests will only be used initially for student move-in and when directly ordered by a student health or campus health nurse practitioner, Lentz said the university will increase rapid testing availability as the semester progresses.
The rapid tests, which detect traces of proteins found in the virus, offer a much quicker turnaround time than PCR tests, with results potentially available as soon as 15 minutes after being administered, according to Memorial Healthcare.
If an individual tests positive for COVID-19 with a rapid test, a PCR test will then be conducted to confirm those results, Lentz said.
SU has identified 20 cases of the virus since beginning 2021 coronavirus testing Jan. 4., leaving the campus with a 1% positivity rate to begin the spring semester, per the university’s COVID-19 dashboard.
SU President Charles Wight praised the campus’ continued virus-mitigation efforts during his first COVID-19 briefing of the semester.
“[The low number of cases are] a reflection of the commitment that all of us have made to keep each other safe,” Wight said.
For more information on SU’s testing protocols or to view the latest university COVID-19 test results, visit https://www.salisbury.edu/coronavirus/testing-info.aspx.
By JAKOB TODD
Featured image courtesy of News Medical.