UVM sets up COVID testing facility, 10-step system

Published: Aug. 20, 2020 at 6:40 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The University of Vermont has begun welcoming back students. With that, comes routine testing protocols for all UVM students to ensure the safety of students and Burlingtonians. Our Elissa Borden shows you how they are setting up the testing site for all the students.

The Davis Center is the home of COVID-19 tests for nonsymptomatic students at UVM.

University staffers have set up a 10-step system. It begins with students blowing their noses outside before stepping inside.

Once inside, the university has it down to a science. Students will check in before entering a queue and then later moving on to swab their own nose and submit their own tests.

The whole system is designed to take a total of 4 minutes from start to finish, allowing them to conduct 15,000 tests per week.

Scheduling tests is easy. UVM is working with an app called CoVerified to help students schedule their tests, which is helpful as students are going to be tested often.

"Students are required to join the same routine testing protocol. Faculty and staff are not required to test. They have been given the option through signing up to be able to come to the center and they can come as frequently as they want, meaning at least once a week if they want or they can come just one time, we're not holding them to the same expectation that we have for students," said Kevin Hytten, the COVID-19 information and service center manager. "Nobody is sliding under the radar. We have a complete process where we're sharing data on a daily basis and our conduct office is reacting to that data and students who have missed that window when they're supposed to come they start the judicial process."

Some 360 students can be tested per hour.

The CoVerified app will also give students results, but UVM says students with positive tests will also get a phone call.

The tests sit until the end of the day before being driven down to Cambridge, Massachusetts, and immediately processed in the lab. So the results come back very quickly.

Students who are symptomatic will not be tested at the Davis Center location. There are two other spots on campus they can go to if they think they may have the virus.

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