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[OFFICIAL-L] COVID-19 update

Dear Campus Community,

I promised to communicate further with you about our COVID-19 updates when we had new information to report, and today, I can share that Wright State University is expanding its screening program to include additional asymptomatic individuals. This pilot testing program is the latest health and safety initiative Wright State is utilizing to protect the safety and well-being of our students and employees by fighting against COVID-19 spread.

Read more about our COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

The pilot testing program will be conducted over the remainder of the Fall Semester with a targeted group of students and employees in order to refine the program for use during the Spring Semester. With this pilot testing program, Wright State joins all other institutions of higher education in the state of Ohio that have on-campus student housing. These institutions received and are following recommendations to develop and implement a testing program for asymptomatic individuals for the Spring Semester.

Current testing options for symptomatic individuals are available through Student Health Services and Wright State Physicians. Read more about those options and how to schedule a test.

Wright State’s new pilot program for asymptomatic individuals will seek to increase the number of personnel tested to approximately 100 people a week. The screening program will use the rapid Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 antigen screening tests and will include students and employees from areas of campus who have high incidence of in-person contact with others and are therefore at higher-risk of exposure to COVID-19. This specific group may include students and employees from Athletics, resident assistants and professional staff from Housing, those working and studying in clinical settings, and others.

The screening strategy will involve repeated, weekly testing of the same individuals over the course of the three-week pilot program — a strategy known to be an effective means of early detection within at-risk populations. Those selected for this pilot program will be notified of their selection via email at their email address.

Testing will be administered at the Lot 20 bus shelter adjacent to the Wright State Physicians Health Center Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. Wright State Physicians staff will administer the rapid antigen tests. It will take about 15 minutes for individuals to receive their test results. Testing of other students or patients with a Wright State Physicians’ order will continue to be offered at the drive-through site from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

At this time the university is not accepting volunteers for testing via its fall pilot program. Wright State will communicate in the future about opportunities for those who are interested in volunteering and are able to commit to being tested once per week on campus during the Spring Semester.

I ask anyone from our campus communities who tests positive for COVID-19, whether through Wright State or other community resources, to self-report through our COVID-19 Self-Reporting Form. Data reported there also populates our COVID-19 Dashboard, which shows all active COVID-19 cases. I also want to remind you that our Coronavirus Response website is updated regularly so check it often.

With the Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays approaching, I know there is an increased desire to relax at social gatherings, visit with family, and catch up with old friends. Please take the time you need and enjoy yourself. But do it safely by remaining vigilant in adhering to all preventative measures — physical distancing, wearing a mask, washing your hands — to help stop the spread of COVID-19, especially as you leave campus and interact with off-campus populations.

We must all work together. Thank you for helping keep our Wright State community safe.

Take care,

Douglas W. Leaman, Ph.D.
Interim Provost