Testing

Last Updated: 10/23/2020

Testing Data

To date, we've had 58 positive cases total, and 65,810 negative results. We currently have 16 active positive cases.

We’ve added more information to the RWU COVID Testing Data site: In the main dashboard you'll now see the total number of active positive cases (students currently in isolation) and not just the running total. Beneath the dashboard we now also display information about our quarantine students. You will see current students in quarantine and where they are quarantining (at home, off campus or at Baypoint) as well as a category of cases under investigation (students, most often symptomatic) that are pending test results but not confirmed positive. We also are show our Baypoint quarantine and isolation percentage in use out of its116-bed capacity. Note: This information will be updated on a less frequent schedule than the overall testing data.

Sharing our results openly allows us to understand and slow the spread of COVID-19. Aggressive testing is a critical campus measure to guide our actions and decision making.

See our Q&A on all things related to the University's testing partnership with Broad Institute.

Scheduling Regular Weekly COVID-19 Testing

All full-time students taking in-person courses or coming to campus are now required to report for COVID-19 testing two days per week until further notice. Your testing days should be spaced 72 hours apart, and we have added evenings and Sundays to the testing schedule to accommodate the additional testing needs. If you can't test at night due to class, being a commuter, or a work conflict, please take your additional weekly test during the day hours instead. If you are not on campus during that day, you can make up the additional test the next day without a reservation.

Remember to Bring an ID

We need your help to keep our testing process efficient and working for our volunteers. Our volunteers may not know who you are and are having a hard time hearing you speak your name through a mask and a plexiglass partition. We ask all faculty, staff and students to present their RWU ID or a driver’s license at your COVID-19 testing appointment – simply holding it up near the plexiglass for the volunteers. This will help our testing volunteers more quickly identify you and enter your test into the system, keeping the lines moving rapidly and smoothly for all. Thanks for helping with this step!

Testing Schedule

All full-time students who are coming to campus need to be tested on the same two days each week.

Testing DaysTesting Hours
Sunday evening5:00pm to 8:00pm
Monday8:30am to 8:00pm
Tuesday8:30am to 8:00pm
Wednesday8:30am to 5:00pm (no evening testing)
Thursday8:30am to 8:00pm
Friday8:30am to 5:00pm 

NOTE: if you are still having trouble registering for testing times, please email covid19@rwu.edu immediately.

Frequent Testing

Until a vaccine is developed and deployed, the simplest and safest path to reopening the University is to establish a culture with an overall commitment to containing any spread of the virus to the extent possible. That is why an integral component of our university procedures will be frequent testing for COVID-19. 

The aim of our University testing is to identify infected individuals presenting with no or mild symptoms that still are positive viral carriers. With 60% of cases pre-symptomatic or among individuals who never may show symptoms (asymptomatic), RWU has committed to regular, frequent testing of the entire community and then isolating individuals to prevent them from transmitting disease to others. This control method, combined with our other social practices, is being used in other workplaces and industries and higher education should not be any different.

For Fall 2020 semester, the university will provide testing on a frequent basis at no cost to students, faculty and staff to provide early identification and mitigation of any individuals infected with the coronavirus. 

RWU partnership with the Broad Institute (Cambridge, MA) for PCR testing (gold-standard technology) 

  • Swab-based campus testing (an anterior swabbing just inside each nostril rather than the more uncomfortable nasopharyngeal swab deeper into the nose and upper throat).
  • Assured results turnaround time is around 24 hours
  • On-campus, self-administered, supervised collection protocol 

Testing Process

Wondering what to expect with the testing process? Check out this video explaining the easy procedure:

What happens next? Watch a behind-the-scenes video of our lab partner, the Broad Institute, sharing its process for analyzing COVID-19 tests that it receives from us and over 120 other universities and colleges around the region:

Results

Positive results will be communicated via phone call from RWU Health Services staff during business hours, to go over next steps. Anyone receiving a positive result is advised to contact their primary care physician. Negative results will be communicated via email CareEvolve@LKNotification.com – check your inbox and junk folders for these emails. You must register an account with CareEvolve to receive your results. Results will be available at or under a 24-hour turnaround period.

Individuals who receive a “test not processed” or “invalid” test result should come in the following day for another test. This is regardless of the day on which your next regularly scheduled testing date falls. Complete a re-test on the following day of receiving such a result and keep to your scheduled testing dates that week and moving forward.

Surveillance Testing at RWU 

Currently the majority faculty, staff and students are being tested twice weekly with some exceptions based on the nature of their frequency of time on campus, the exposure risk at home, and other factors. We continue to review our testing frequency on a regular basis but will remain with twice weekly testing until further notice. Based on our contact tracing and campus circumstances, RWU may also employ "surge" testing to test various individuals as part of our tracing strategy at certain points in the semester. 

Emerging Technologies & Partners

The Campus Testing Working Group is closely monitoring the rapid pace of emerging testing methods and testing partnerships that are possible. In the weeks ahead, RWU will share changes to our testing options and opportunities (moving from swab testing to saliva testing). We are also exploring on-site testing capabilities that also may provide rapid onsite results at a lower price-point per test. More information on these efforts will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead. 

Reporting

Testing data is a critical metric to guide our decision making related to campus operations. Testing results are also one of the only ways we can assess that social distancing, mask wearing, and other practices in the campus community are actually working and being followed. Any presence of positive cases is reported to the state of Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and RWU will work to share our internal campus testing results openly with the campus community while also following RIDOH reporting requirements. The relative presence of positive cases on campus will continue to inform our campus policies and procedures throughout the fall semester.

More in this section: Testing | Testing Q&A | Data HubContact Tracing | Quarantine and Isolation Procedures


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