OHIO expands COVID-19 testing program on all campuses
Ohio University has invested in an expanded COVID-19 asymptomatic testing program for spring semester, partnering with Vault Health to provide asymptomatic testing for students and employees.
Because asymptomatic testing is critical for keeping the campus community as safe as possible, COVID Operations is incentivizing student participation. Every time a student completes a required test, they will earn a chance to win an Apple MacBook in a drawing at the end of spring semester. Drawings for additional prizes will take place weekly. The more required tests a student completes, the more opportunities they have to win prizes.
Testing of asymptomatic individuals helps University leaders understand whether virus incidence is decreasing or increasing among the campus community, providing information about infection rates and trends. It also helps the University identify and isolate positive individuals, with the goal of reducing spread and identifying potential outbreaks.
Vault utilizes a painless, saliva-based PCR test. With a sensitivity and specificity rate of more than 99%, the Vault test is one of the most accurate tests available.
All students who will have an on-campus presence are required to take a mail-in Vault COVID-19 test before they return to campus this month. Once back on campus, students will participate in regularly-scheduled asymptomatic tests. Those who live on the Athens campus will test every week, and off-campus Athens students will test every other week. Regional campus students and employees who participate in on-campus activities will also test every other week using Vault’s at-home testing. There is no cost for students or employees to take the test.
OHIO employees who regularly come to campus are encouraged to test every other week.
This new asymptomatic testing program will run out of the University’s Tennis Center on the Athens campus (next to the Ping Center) and will have the capacity to process 1,000 tests a day. Following are guidelines for participating in Vault testing at the Tennis Center:
- Don’t eat, drink, smoke or chew gum for 30 minutes before your test, and hydrate well before this 30-minute fast;
- Bring your smart phone or other personal device that connects to the Internet (devices will be available for those without a device);
- When testing for the first time at this testing location, if you already completed an at-home Vault test, be sure to update your address to your Athens address;
- Use your Ohio University email address in all communication and registration activities related to Vault COVID-19 testing;
- A test supervisor will walk you through your test, and approximately 48-72 hours later, you’ll receive your results via email or by logging into your Vault account.
This asymptomatic testing program is part of OHIO’s overall strategy, which also includes symptomatic testing through the Ohio University COVID-19 Hotline and wide-net testing in partnership with CVS. Wide-net testing is a strategy whereby those who were in close contact with a positive case can quickly be tested, allowing the University to identify and intervene in outbreaks early. Wide-net testing will take place at the Grosvenor West 111 CVS testing location and will utilize the Abbott ID NOW, rapid molecular, self-administered nasal swab tests.
Any OHIO employee (full-time or part-time) or student who is not experiencing symptoms but would like an asymptomatic test so they know their COVID-19 health status can use this online form to schedule a rapid-result test at the Grosvenor West 111 CVS testing location. When scheduling a test, use 45701 for the ZIP code and include the “P” with your PID.