By: Emma Smith
Plenty of coronavirus tests have made it to the University of Findlay’s campus, but Oilers will have to wait for vaccines
Face-to-face classes started at the University of Findlay on Tuesday, but before students were allowed to be in class, they were required to take a rapid COVID-19 test to ensure safety when returning to campus. Even with testing, students are still mandated to wear face coverings in all buildings, use the provided wipes to clean their desk area before sitting down and social distance when possible. Faculty and staff are also required to get tested. The university, along with many other local schools, are following health guidelines passed down from the state of Ohio in order to provide a safe learning environment for all students.
Dave Emsweller, Vice President of Student Affairs, was very encouraged with the amount of testing that took place before classes started and felt strongly that the university was doing everything that they could to help students return to campus and stay on campus.
A campus-wide email was sent with a link that allowed Oilers to sign up for the testing time that worked best with their schedule. Testing will occur at the Koehler Fitness and Recreation Complex, where students are asked to arrive 15 minutes early to be signed in and have their temperature taken. Once inside the testing area, students are separated by groups and are provided items needed to complete the test. The test is administered by the individual and is a non-invasive nasal swab and takes around 15 minutes to complete. Results are received immediately.
“The University is using the BD Veritor 15-minute rapid test. The test has been proven to be more than 98% accurate (100% accurate for positive tests & 98% accurate for negative tests) Basically if you test positive, the test is accurate 100% of the time. If you test negative, the test is accurate 98% of the time),” according to university’s COVID-19 testing page.
The tests are trying to give UF staff a gauge of how the semester will go as well as inform them accurately of the number of positive cases campus has. “If we can start the semester knowing the number of cases we have now, it should help us limit the spread,” Emsweller said.
On Jan. 18, the University released coronavirus numbers during the week of Jan. 10-16. There were 50 active positive cases and 32 people in quarantine from the 1,156 tests administered.
Emsweller was very encouraged by the positive response from the majority of staff and students concerning the increased testing. “What we are doing is very similar to most other schools at this point, trying to get a sense of how your campus is doing,” he said.
Questions have also been raised about the COVID-19 vaccination and when college students or faculty may be able receive it. Emsweller said that discussions over the vaccine are in the early stages and no word from the state of Ohio as to when those people will be on the list and when the vaccine will be delivered to the university.
Staff and students may have to wait a while before they can line up to be vaccinated.