Since we know that a person who is asymptomatic can still spread the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the virus that causes COVID-19), regular surveillance testing of the Shenandoah University community will help to identify people with COVID-19 early and isolate them so they can better care for themselves and protect the campus community.
The success of this coronavirus surveillance testing program depends on asymptomatic students, faculty, and staff getting tested regularly. If you live or work on a Shenandoah campus, we strongly encourage you to get tested when given the opportunity, even if you aren’t experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.
What’s the difference between diagnostic and surveillance testing?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines testing this way:
- Diagnostic testing is intended to identify occurrence at the individual level and is performed when there is a reason to suspect that an individual may be infected, such as having symptoms or suspected recent exposure, or to determine resolution of infection.
- Surveillance testing is generally used to monitor for a community- or population-level occurrence, such as an infectious disease outbreak, or to characterize the occurrence once detected, such as looking at the incidence and prevalence of the occurrence. Surveillance testing is used to gain information at a population level, rather than an individual level.
About Shenandoah’s Surveillance Testing Program
Shenandoah University’s Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy faculty created this simple, effective surveillance testing program to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in our university community.
The testing program relies on a pooled testing approach that combines samples from multiple individuals and tests them as a group. Pooled testing dramatically increases the number of community members that can be sampled with a single coronavirus test.
How the Testing Process Works
Shenandoah community members (students, faculty and staff) are contacted and provided with instructions on how to provide a small saliva sample. The entire process is contactless, takes fewer than five minutes to complete, and is free of charge.
What Happens After You Get Tested?
Processing is typically completed within 24-48 hours and you will be notified of the following:
If Your Testing Pool Results Are Negative
You will receive notification that you are not recommended for diagnostic testing.
If Your Testing Pool Results Are Positive
You will receive notification that you are recommended for diagnostic testing.
If a Student’s Follow-Up Diagnostic Test Is Positive
- The Wilkins Wellness Center will provide you with support resources and inform you what to do next, including how to isolate and when you can return to class/resume participation in campus community activities.
If an Employee’s (faculty/staff) Follow-Up Diagnostic Test Is Positive
- You will get your result from your diagnostic test provider. Please let Human Resources know immediately whether you are positive so they can provide you with support resources, ask whether you have been in “close contact” with other campus community members, and provide you with information on how to isolate, when you can return to work, etc.
If Your Testing Pool Results Are Inconclusive
This result means that the test could not conclusively determine whether you are infected with the SARS-CoV-2-virus (the virus that causes COVID-19). You will be contacted again to participate in a future round of surveillance testing.
If Your Testing Pool Results Are Rejected
This result means that something occurred with the specimen (i.e., the specimen collection tube was broken or compromised, or the specimen could not be tested by the laboratory). You will be contacted again to participate in a future round of surveillance testing.