Ohio University

CVS Asymptomatic Testing Partnership

As part of Ohio University’s commitment to protect the health and safety of its students, faculty, and staff, in partnership with CVS Health, the University will begin to conduct a surveillance COVID-19 testing program in Athens beginning September 21 to identify asymptomatic carriers of the virus and monitor its prevalence.

Asymptomatic testing is included as a Presidential Health Directive to establish specific health requirements for community members appropriate to current community health risks. CVS is using Abbott ID tests requiring a nasal swab and the machines take 15 minutes to get the results.

The University is combining both a wide net testing strategy and random testing to select asymptomatic participants. This means that we draw from a long list of potential participants generated from anyone who has accessed campus resources, including those in phase 1 and 2. Then we randomly generate names from that list to schedule testing within a specific window. With this strategy, we can identify positives quickly so they can isolate and participate in contact tracing before symptoms manifest.  Wide net testing will also eventually include testing of those in near contact with people with positive test results, which supports the goal of identifying and intervening in outbreaks early.  This strategy is consistent with the recommendations of the Ohio Department of Health and the expectations of Inter-University Council (IUC) schools.

Students that are chosen for asymptomatic testing will receive an email directing them to schedule and receive a test by CVS on campus. If directed and not tested in accordance with the email, students will lose access to all University buildings and so will be unable to attend in person classes, labs, studios or any other activities. On campus residential students that do not get tested will be subject to the terms of their Housing Contract.

Employees will be invited to participate in asymptomatic testing with a priority for individuals that have regular student contact. The test consists of a nasal swab that is self-administered and is not as invasive as tests used for symptomatic individuals.  We chose this method because we found that the test was relatively easy to administer and was not painful. If you are selected for asymptomatic testing, you will receive an email which will direct you to schedule with CVS Health and get tested on campus at Grosvenor West 111. After you have self-administered the nasal swab, you will wait on site for 15 minutes and get the result before you leave. 

If you are tested and receive a positive test result, you must complete the following action steps immediately:

  1. Call the Ohio University COVID-19 Hotline:  877-OU-COV19 (877-682-6819)
  2. Submit an Ohio University COVID-19 Incident Report
  3. If living on-campus, notify their Resident Director immediately.
  4. Prepare for a required conversation with the Athens City County Health Department. They will need to provide contract tracers with the name and phone number of any close contacts (any individual within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes in the 48 hours prior to testing.)

All OHIO students, faculty and staff are expected to use these resources.