1. Quarantine: I want to thank everyone who wished me well during my recent quarantine. I had more responses to that campus update than any other one, and I really appreciated the kind words that so many people shared.
The good news is that my quarantine ended on Friday, and my COVID-19 test was negative. While I am happy to be back in my office, I’m also mindful that this was a useful exercise in understanding the burdens faced by members of our community who are in quarantine. Everything from getting everyday necessities to the frustration of not being able to leave the house is difficult. That being said, I know it is a vitally important part of minimizing the spread on campus, and our community is safer because of our compliance.
2. Testing Information: Last week’s tests had a combined 954 participants, and a positivity rate of 2.5%. It’s good to see the positivity rate go down, but only 55% of the people that tested last week were known NDSU students. This limits our ability to draw conclusions about campus.
As I have previously mentioned, NDSU does not control the mass testing events that occur on our campus. As a result, the generalized information that we receive about the events is both indirect and incomplete. However, we have shared the information that we received with campus, and in that spirit, we now want to provide additional information that we are getting. The Higher Education Smart Restart Task Force will be providing to us, on a regular basis (hopefully, weekly), more specific information about our campus’ COVID-19 metrics. We will be making that information available here. As you will see, their data shows a slightly higher positivity rate for NDSU than we had calculated, but our trend lines are consistent.
3. Weekly Testing: We’re continuing with the semi-weekly testing at the Shelly Ellig Indoor Track Facility (located directly southwest of the SHAC). There will be a test tomorrow (October 8) and Sunday (October 11) from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day.
I will be getting tested regularly, and I’m asking each of you to get tested, even if you have already had a test and even if you don’t have any symptoms. The testing process is not difficult, and they commonly give you a choice of using a throat or nasal swab (one may be easier for you than the other).
Student government is running another drawing for Visa gift cards for students who get tested this week. First place is $250 and there are five additional $100 winners.
We would like every employee to get tested at least every other week. However, if you are working in an area with significant exposure to others, it would be better to get tested every week. As always, getting tested at these events should be considered work time.
Some final points about testing:
· Testing is free
· You can preregister here. However, if you have already registered for a prior testing event, you do not have to re-register.
· It is not limited to people living on campus. All students, including off-campus students, are encouraged to participate.
· You do not have to have symptoms in order to get this testing. In fact, this testing is only for individuals who are asymptomatic. If you are experiencing symptoms, please contact Student Health Service or your local health care facility to determine next steps.
Dean L. Bresciani, President