October 6, 2020
Research: Only 25% of Colleges Doing Surveillance Testing
Oct. 6, 11:20 a.m. An analysis of testing strategies at more than 1,400 institutions found that more than two-thirds either have no clear testing plan or are only testing “at-risk” students, those who either feel sick or who have had contact with an individual who tested positive for coronavirus, National Public Radio reported. The analysis was done by researchers at the College Crisis Initiative at Davidson College, in North Carolina.
Just 25 percent of colleges are conducting mass screening or random “surveillance” testing of students. Only 6 percent are routinely testing all of their students.
Some experts have argued that frequent surveillance testing is necessary to contain outbreaks because the virus can be spread by asymptomatic and presymptomatic individuals. Recently revised guidance on testing at higher education institutions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that “a strategy of entry screening combined with regular serial testing might prevent or reduce” transmission of the virus, although the guidance stops short of explicitly recommending serial testing as a strategy.
Officials at many institutions that are not testing regularly say that doing so would be too expensive for them.
— Elizabeth Redden
Doane President Proposes Closing Numerous Programs
The president of Doane University, in Nebraska, has proposed ending a number of programs because of financial pressures created by the COVID-19 pandemic, 10/11 Now reported.
— Scott Jaschik
Instagram Connects Freshmen During Pandemic
Oct. 5, 6:27 a.m. Instagram has become a key tool for freshmen to make friends, either from their homes or from colleges that limit their movement on campus, The Boston Globe reported.
The story focuses on collegeboston2024, an account created by Lucy Garberg, a freshman at Tufts University. “My hope is that this account will bring us together,” she wrote in May.
The site has thousands of followers and requires seven students to manage.
“We can’t really rely on naturally organic, flowing relationships, which is what I thought was going to happen in college,” said Jaime Kim, a student Garberg recruited to help her manage the account. “We definitely have to … go out of our way to reach out to people.”
— Scott Jaschik
Notre Dame President Tests Positive for COVID-19
Oct. 2, 1:20 p.m. The University of Notre Dame announced Friday that its president, the Reverend John Jenkins, tested positive for COVID-19 just days after attending a White House event for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
— Emma Whitford