Ohio University

COVID-19 Testing Incentive Program winners announced

Published: May 4, 2021 Author: Staff reports

COVID Operations wrapped up its COVID-19 Testing Incentive Program over the weekend with a drawing to select three grand prize winners from students who participated in required asymptomatic testing during spring semester:

  • Haylen Irvine, a psychology major in the College of Arts and Sciences at the Athens campus, is the lucky winner of a MacBook Pro.
  • Samantha Loy, a nursing student on OHIO’s Zanesville campus, and Patrick Togher, a finance major in the College of Business at the Athens campus, each won an iPad mini.

The incentive program also included a residence hall competition, which ended with Perkins Hall beating out all other residence halls for the best overall testing compliance among residents. Perkins residents tested at a median rate of 87 percent from Feb. 1 to April 2. They used their $500 prize to purchase OHIO knit hats, which were distributed to residents prior to departure for the summer.

The Testing Incentive Program was intended to motivate students to participate in required asymptomatic testing, which is a critical component in keeping campus safe and open. Throughout the semester, COVID Operations conducted weekly and monthly drawings for prizes. Students earned entries into the drawings each time they participated in required asymptomatic testing.

“I think having the incentives helped some students to stay on track and avoid getting into trouble with compliance and the conduct process,” said Maria Modayil, COVID Operations’ COVID-19 epidemiologist, who managed the incentive program.

Sam Gutherz, a graduate biological sciences student in the College of Arts and Sciences, was one of the program’s weekly winners, collecting a coffee mug and flash drive. Gutherz said that although he would have tested regularly anyway, it was nice to have an incentive to keep going.

“The testing was efficient and not much of an inconvenience, so well worth keeping students and the community safe,” he said.

Winners, who were highlighted on COVID Operations’ social media accounts throughout the semester, represented a cross-section of OHIO colleges, majors, and campuses.

“I was pleased to see winners on regional and extension campuses, in graduate and undergraduate programs, and in many different colleges and majors,” Modayil said.

Weekly prizes came from campus partners including the Vice President for Finance and Administration, Campus Involvement Center, campus programming, College of Health Sciences and Professions, Center for International Studies, and the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. Monthly and grand prizes were paid for with CARES Act funds.