UVA expanding COVID-19 testing beyond those showing symptoms

University of Virginia
University of Virginia(NBC29)
Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 1:15 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - At the beginning of the semester, the University of Virginia focused heavily on symptomatic COVID-19 testing to prevent the spread. Now, the university is testing every student living on UVA Grounds.

“Obviously it’s a pain to go get tested, but I do think it’s a good measure to keep us safe and keep testing us,” first year UVA student Annaliese Georgie said.

As coronavirus cases begin to slightly decrease on-Grounds, the school is now taking extra precautions by expanding testing.

“Some people are asymptomatic, so we want to make sure that we identify them quickly and then get them out of the population for as long as they’re ill and contagious so that we don’t end up with additional cases,” UVA Spokesperson Brian Coy said.

Now students living on-Grounds will be tested at least once every nine days using a new type of surveillance.

“The latest thing we’ve developed is a program where we can test people’s saliva and get quick and accurate results, and do so in a larger volume than some of the other tests,” Coy said.

This comes as the university doubles the approved group gathering size from five people to 10.

“I think first years are doing their best to follow the rules. People are compliant. What can be done is being done,” third year at UVA and resident assistant Malcolm Hugenin said.

Coy says the goal is to expand frequent testing beyond those living in the residence halls.

“The hope is as we continue to ramp up our saliva testing program, we can apply that to other populations within the university community including our off-Grounds students,” Coy said.

Students living on UVA Grounds should expect their test results within 24 to 48 hours.

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