UToledo launches COVID-19
Surveillance Testing for fall semester
August 17, 2020: As part of its
comprehensive plan to promote a safe environment for the return
of on-campus classes and activities for fall semester, The
University of Toledo will begin voluntary COVID-19 surveillance
testing this week.
UToledo expects to conduct as
many as 2,000 surveillance tests of faculty, staff and students
during the first four weeks of fall semester.
The testing, done initially in
partnership with the Utah-based company Azova, will provide the
University with baseline information about the extent of the
virus in our community as we begin the semester and provide a
valuable tool for reducing the spread of the virus. Additional
surveillance testing will continue throughout fall semester.
“As we have all seen during the
last several months, COVID-19 is a serious disease for many.
Studies also have shown that a number of people who contract the
virus experience no symptoms at all,” UToledo Interim President
Gregory Postel said. “Because we know those individuals can
still spread the disease, testing asymptomatic individuals can
play a role in reducing the spread of COVID.”
A representative sample of
approximately 500 faculty, staff and students will be randomly
selected for testing each of the next four weeks and notified
through their UToledo email account. Individuals will be able to
set an appointment for the saliva-based testing at a specified
outdoor, on-campus site.
Participation among those
studying, working and living on campus, while not required, is
Only those who are selected for
asymptomatic testing will be able to receive a test. The
University also is working to make available a limited number of
tests to faculty and staff who are not part of the random sample
group. Testing is available for employees and students who are
experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 through The University of
Toledo Medical Center at both Main Campus and Health Science
Individuals who are tested during
the next four weeks will receive their results through Azova’s
secure web platform. Results are expected to be available within
48 hours after samples arrive at their laboratory. As required
by law, the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department will be
notified of any positive test results. The University will
receive data on how many tests are positive, but will not
receive reports about specific individuals’ results.
Additionally, the University is
developing a public COVID-19 dashboard to share information
regarding positive cases connected to the University.
“We want to be well-informed and
transparent about the extent of COVID-19 within our community as
we make decisions to protect the health and safety of everyone
on our campus,” Postel said. “We’ve implemented a number of
protocols, including our Rocket Prevention Principles, to
address the challenges this virus presents. These additional
tools are an important complement to our existing plans.”