Survey Raw Responses: What was the biggest challenge or lesson learned with your testing process procedures?
APPA > Survey Raw Responses: What was the biggest challenge or lesson learned with your testing process procedures?
Finding a testing provider that could guarantee results in under 48 hours.
Delay in hiring vendor for symptom checking and contact tracing.
Uniform testing was not implemented, however testing was made available to symptomatic students, faculty, and staff. Since campus pivoted to undergraduate online classes, our county health department is making testing available to everyone on a weekly basis.
Identifying test collection sites for students to drop off samples.
Biggest challenge was requiring testing prior to moving into campus housing with all the different regulations throughout the country.
Testing procedures are required for international students, as per Provincial guidelines for post-secondary schools. Meeting this requirement enabled us to offer the same service to any students who were ill and self-isolating in residence. Was extremely well received by the students.
Most students were up front with their past activities. Those that may have come into contact with an infected person due to clinicals remained at home and did not come to campus.
Sometimes the rules changed with little time to adjust. Very fluid situation for some things.
Can always use more testing but again, contact tracing is a limiting factor.
Groups failing to plan as they were directed to for their spaces.
There was no testing prior to move-in, testing was done with student athletes and for all remaining students in the residence halls after they were generally closed. Other testing was done for contact tracing as positives escalated. Testing positives escalated up from 6% to 27%. After move out and the campus’ move to online teaching for undergraduates, the testing positives have dropped to 14% this past week.
Open lines of communication and transparency.
Mandatory for return to on-campus residents. Ongoing testing has been more difficult to enforce regularly.
Even the smallest of measures can put at east those who are particularly prone to feeling uneasy about returning to work “normally”, versus working from home.
Testing was required for only on-campus students. All commuter/off-campus students weren’t required to test but are still coming to campus every day. We are now doing a random selection of 500 students per week, but the testing is completely voluntary and not required.
Students remembering to show up for the test! The biggest challenge was finding a company to oversee the testing on-site and working through the first round of testing with that company.
Most testing is voluntary with the exception of the athletes and a few other identified groups. No one knows how many people will show up to be tested.
Send communications to students early.
Creating additional testing locations for staff and faculty due to 2X weekly testing of students.
Challenges for staff included finding the location and volunteers to take temperatures and ask the series of questions for each staff person. The university has also set up a testing location for all students.
Issuing the tests & receiving test results on time.
On-going- added costs part of doing business.
We are only testing those with symptoms. So far it has worked well. Challenge is dealing with insurance.
The CDC revised testing to symptom based protocols
Enforcement of testing on students.
Aside from the delay on the first day of move-in, everything else went well. Surveillance testing is underway and going well.
We haven’t been on campus long enough to know about “new cases” but the pre-testing went well – arrival testing fine – finding the right test/vendor is key.
Accuracy of COVID-19 health screening questionnaires.
Must insist and enforce that ALL students show up for weekly testing.
Reminding students that they had to have a COVID-19 negative test prior to coming to school.
3/4 of the student body live in off-campus housing.
Scheduling 100% of our students for in-take testing went as planned.
People following protocols.
Communication of new processes were not received by all individuals. It proved that multiple modes of communication will still not reach everyone.
Testing only when symptomatic. Transportation to testing site was a challenge.
About 1 week in, the decision was made not to test everyone in quarantine unless the original contact student’s test came back positive. The theory is that the test results are more accurate if a few days in. Trying to limit unnecessary false positives.
We did not require COVID-19 tests, but we do require a daily screening for everyone on campus to monitor for symptoms. We also implemented a three-phase, six-week-long procedure. Each phase is set for two weeks and if there aren’t any issues, the restrictions ease up. We’re at the end of Phase 1, and so far so good.
When and how often to test off-campus students.
In an order of ranking for challenges: Implementation and cooperation with compliance measures – Planning and development. Lesson: Plan in advance, secure resources and allocate.
Integrated solutions to establish comprehensive testing/tracing, facilitate coordinated access, and ensure compliance, requires broad involvement in both decision-making and implementation. This means a lot of involvement, and requires a lot of graciousness and collegiality from all those involved. Making sure that everyone feels appreciated and informed is critical.
The biggest challenge was coordinating the scheduling plan (2-3 days after each arrival) with the students actual arrival dates that changed. Tracking the data in coordination with the testing agency/ lab and our records was also more complicated and time consuming than anticipated.
Ramp up is taking place and as of today we are moving from 300 to 450 per day based on desired participation in the non-symptomatic surveillance testing.
Students are lying about contacts and exposures.
Communicating to the public that there would be and was a steep rise in positive cases in the county.
The process of temperature checks and health questionnaires every day for each student is labor intensive.
Scheduling testing for students and staff.
Increased number of positive tests.
No challenge. Lesson learned was to make the testing as accommodating as possible.
Delays in reporting have negatively impacted notifications and contact tracing.
Larger number of tests than planned.
The quantity that was determined to be considered an outbreak was not known up front from the department of health.
Only Athletes were tested.
Scaling up to test 4,000+ personnel per day.
Transparency of the process.
We did this for athletes only and that was managed in partnership with our state DPH and a third party company.
Testing set up on a volunteer basis. Students are not volunteering in the numbers needed to track the spread.
Something new always is a challenge.
All residential students needed a negative test prior to arriving as well as testing on arrival. All faculty and staff as well as commuter students had to test at our testing center the week prior to class. Although pre-testing was not well received by the community, everyone did do it. Eight students tested positive before arriving.
Volume of aggressive testing, required change of process.
The initial impact from move-in created very long lines just because of the volumes within a few days. Test sites are not seeing the long lines now that move-in is over.
No tests yet……………………YET
Communication of the status of students that did not yet have a negative test to all parties (faculty). Communication happened, but it was not always clear/anticipated.
Our testing partner distributed mail in home testing kits that did not work as planned. This made us adjust our pre-arrival testing coordination due to the failures of our testing partner.
Higher positivity rate than expected.
Having everyone involved who needed to be involved.
Vendor selection and ability to manage any issues.
Minimal opening so not much to share.
Too much confusion on roll out.
We are testing only symptomatic students. No students living on campus have exhibited symptoms. Students living in off-campus housing have been tested – we started with one positive 2 days ago, 8 positive yesterday, and 10 today. We don’t yet have the HVAC recommendations implemented in Student Health Services, so we can’t currently do testing at that location as planned.
Communication with State/Local AHJ’s is critical on the reporting end.
Effort required to reconcile test result reporting from multiple sources (in-house v. self-report v. DOH notification).
You will never know who gets it or not and that’s the reason why we need to wearing mask and applying social distance.
We have implemented symptomatic testing…that has had limited use but working fine. We are implementing asymptomatic testing to coincide with our Ph2 reopening on Sept 28th.
Too soon to tell if it is working as planned. So far we’ve had only about 40 positive tests.
Getting the buy-in to complete the “app” before arriving at the college.
Quick testing machines on campus provided results in minutes and that helped with defining next steps for the individual.
We are only testing symptomatic students.
So far it’s worked. Late reporting of not feeling well while on campus. Instructors not enforcing distancing and mask wearing.
Education and distribution of plan and process.
After testing negative, students exhibited behaviors that did not support social distancing protocols. Test results were returned to students within 48 hours. Maintaining quarantine during that period was difficult for some students.
Tests are difficult to get and turnaround times have been challenging. We had to reduce our planned testing activities as a result.
The original plan was to test 100% of incoming students. The ability to test that many people in a timely manner was not doable.
Worked as planned for the most part but the challenge is that the guidelines handed down from the various agencies seem to change almost daily.
Expect hiccups when working for the first time “live” with a new vendor and an entire campus community for whom this was all new material. Be prepared to improvise, adapt and overcome when those happen. Plan ahead carefully, including backups to the backup plans. When things start to go off the rails, execute the relevant backup plan.
Challenge: Communication about the protocols/procedures. Student’s failure to report when they realized they would have to leave campus if they did so. The campus community failure to follow the protocols/procedures. Lesson Learned: More and clearer communication in more than one format.
Limited amount of students and it went well.
We’ve been delayed in getting our own testing facility operating, and vendor who was doing our testing, cut back the numbers for us.
Constantly changing requirements from testing team (indoor spaces with testing booths, then testing booths not available. Pivot to outdoor testing under tents, need evacuation plan for thunderstorms. On-campus testing lab delayed, need to send tests out for results).
Its new….be patient and flexible, but stick to the plan. All students’, faculty, staff, and contractors were tested before being allowed on campus…not an easy thing…we fortunately have a health clinic that took on most of this work…many volunteers.
We must always protect the privacy of individuals during any of these initiatives. HR was very instrumental in keeping us in line with college expectations, State mandates and respecting the privacy of our campus users at every juncture.
Asking student to self-quarantine before coming to campus. Especially out of state.
Very slow process, particularly between possible and confirmed cases.
Too much flexibility and honor system dependent.
Getting students, faculty, and staff to comply with these protocols. Most are, but a small percentage (maybe 5-10%) are not fully compliant.
Testing was planned and executed but results were not well distributed and communicated…seemed useless to have even tested at the end.
Students not reporting for testing or letting people know they are potentially positive. They know they will be placed in isolation or quarantine, potentially subject to disciplinary action etc. so they are not reporting or cooperating with protocols and requirements.
Getting staff trained to give testing took longer than anticipated.
We needed to come up with alternate testing location besides our student health building.
Testing came in at the last minute and the testing types had changed. We found we had to separate the distribution and the return of tests to different locations.
We set up locations and have had to adjust/move to new locations once everything was in place due to weather concerns.
Communicate with campus and specifically occupants of the building holding the testing.
Communication with on and off campus students.
The amount of bio hazard wastes was underestimated.
Getting test results in a timely fashion. But that has now been resolved.
Getting enough data in the system to accurately reflect trends. Adjusting to the lag in certain tests.
The students were tested prior to moving into housing. The staff has to complete a health survey every day before coming to campus.
Communication to verify that everyone was tested and check-in accordingly.
Slow response times with COVID-19 testing results.
The challenge was not only receiving additional testing equipment (antigen testing) but also the necessary reagents to then get timely results. Need support by timely contact tracing and this has proved to be difficult when test results are also slow.
The college will remain in remote/online instruction, services, and operations through the fall term. We anticipate that Winter Term 2021 will also remain in fully remote operations and instruction.
It can be a costly process. We partnered with our county health department and local hospital to get it done on campus one week before move-in so results could be returned timely.
All our testing is passive testing. We are not actively testing anyone.
Students not wanting to test because they would have to isolate. Students trying to hide their test so their Fraternity would not be closed.
The biggest challenge was educating students and visitors of the importance of being tested and wearing their masks while on campus.
Finding a company to do the testing.
Biggest challenge was that no matter how early we thought we planned, we always seemed to be behind on getting COVID related supplies.
Student testing plans worked well. Staff/Faculty testing only resulted in about 50% turnout as they were “expected” to get tested, but were not mandated. Not sure if this will result in higher case numbers due to untested staff/faculty members being on campus again.
Testing for students went largely as planned. Testing for faculty and staff has been harder to manage because most employees had testing kits mailed directly to their homes, making it more difficult to manage. There were some initial issues with testing vendors committing then backing out.
Communication and education.
We did not test when students arrived but started testing after a number of students were infected.
The time it took to get the test results.
It is working well thus far.
It’s too early to answer yes or no have they worked. Testing has been open less than a week. We are also only testing symptomatic people which seems like a flawed approach from the start in my opinion.
Always a chance of a negative test today and then exposure and a positive test later.
Good pre-planning and allowing a large enough parking lot to accommodate drive through testing.
Voluntary participation is not achieving needed levels of testing.
Academics sent lists of students and staff who were allowed on campus. We set up a greeter’s station to verify a student’s name was on the list. Students had to wear masks in the buildings and when working together. If someone appeared unwell, we asked if we could take their temperature with an infrared thermometer. If they had a fever over 100.4, they were told to consult with their physician. Of course our buildings were laid out for social distancing, vending machines and drinking fountains were shut down. Actually it has gone very well.
Dealing with international students who might have had difficulty getting to the US early enough.
Campus offers no testing and is relying on students to report back the results.
We plugged into the community system for testing.
Resident students without cars could not go to the drive through testing.
Sanitary system testing from residence halls was implemented with follow up saliva testing if COVID was detected in the effluent from a particular hall.
It took far longer to certify our own testing lab than anticipated.
Weather concerns for outdoor tent locations, pop up testing site logistical challenges.
Time period for receiving results.
Getting students to sign up for voluntary prevalence testing is tough.
Lead time is crucial for the testing to be effective.
People involved in creating testing procedures have no knowledge of facilities’ needs – vendors, contractors, etc. Still working through this to see if these people are to be covered by the testing procedure.
Outside testing firm, so there were challenges – mostly computer and communications.
Confidentiality while keeping facilities folks apprised to stay out of certain areas.
Reducing the test feedback time and communicating campus wide in a timely and complete manner.