Turn-key COVID-19

Testing Solutions

Colleges & Universities 

A Path Forward

In a recent press release, Spartan Medical, Colorado State University – Pueblo and NTT DATA, announced a Turn-key COVID-19 Testing Solution for colleges and universities (see link).  This all-inclusive testing solution which includes Supplies, Services, and Integration, is customizable to meet any school’s needs.

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National CLIA accredited laboratory agreements with increased capacity and a quick turnaround time (24-48 hours) to meet the growing demand for additional COVID-19 testing (based on higher transmissibility rates of the new SARS-CoV-2 variants).

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Medically trained staff for sample collection with coverage across all 50 states.

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Secure, HIPAA compliant web-based scheduling portal to streamline appointments and eliminate bottlenecks during sample collection.

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U.S. made Antigen Rapid Tests for screening or surveillance and Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) Tests to establish a base-line result and as a confirmatory test with a positive Antigen test result.

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Self-administered collection kits available for symptomatic individuals, and to reduce the need for dedicated staff to collect samples (reducing costs).

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RT-PCR Pool testing (5:1 or 16:1 or 25:1 ratio) is a cost-effective method for on campus surveillance of asymptomatic students, faculty, and staff. If a pool has a positive result, a standard PCR test can be used to process each collected sample at the standard RT-PCR rate.

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Dashboard for Medical Staff and school administrators to review test results and provide to local and state regulatory agencies. NOTE: portal captures Antigen Rapid Test results administered on site and RT-PCR Test results once processed from our affiliate CLIA lab partner for quick and easy access by each student/faculty/staff.

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‘Smart Badge’ solution with a daily health survey and QR code for all students, faculty, and staff; green QR code for “cleared”, yellow QR code for “cleared with caution”, and red for “not cleared”; reviewed by campus-wide monitors (works with any base-wide or student area access points).

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Contact Tracers that have completed one of the public certification courses as needed (i.e. Johns Hopkins).

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Genome sequencing for research purposes to identify SARS-CoV-2 variant strains. 

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‘Smart Badge’ solution with a daily health survey and QR code for all students, faculty, and staff; green QR code for “cleared”, yellow QR code for “cleared with caution”, and red for “not cleared”; reviewed by campus-wide monitors (works with any base-wide or student area access points).

An example of how a Turn-key COVID-19 Testing Solution helped a college return to in-person learning and restart Winter and Spring Sports was at Colorado State University (CSU) Pueblo.

Like most schools, CSU-Pueblo was conducting some testing before the Spring semester, however, this alone proved to be insufficient when it came to in-person learning.  The school was also looking for a technology platform (i.e. Dashboard, Smart Badge, etc.) to capture and monitor positive cases to effectively prevent the spread of the coronavirus on campus.1  In addition, the turn-key COVID-19 testing solution should tallow for the continuation of seasonal sports while meeting the requirements of the school’s medical director, NCAA guidelines for COVID-19 testing and local and state health authority requirements.2, 3, 4

Click here to contact Spartan Medical for a solution customized to your Institution

CDC Guidance

The CDC has issued new COVID-19 testing guidance for colleges and universities titled, “Interim Guidance for SARS-CoV-2 Testing and Screening at Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs)”.  Below is a quick summary of potential testing strategies:

  • IHEs should implement an entry screening strategy prior to the beginning of each term (i.e. base-line PCR testing, screening testing once or twice a week using Antigen Rapid Tests, etc.).
  • IHEs should implement a universal serial screening testing strategy in the context of moderate, substantial, or high community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 if sufficient testing capacity is available.

To assist IHEs in determining which testing strategy should be implemented based on community spread, the CDC has provided easy to use tracking tools to determine community transmission in and around each college campus (see link).  The below table from the CDC website provides a potential guide for schools to use based on the Community Indicator Level they are in at a given time when students start a new term or, return to campus from an extended break.

See below Table 3. from CDC.

Is Your Institution Prepared?

Does your school’s COVID-19 testing strategy include redundancies and mitigation steps to meet the CDC’s recommended “Prevention Strategy” based on the above referenced ‘Community Indicator Level’?
Has your school identified sources for RT-PCR & Antigen Rapid Tests to establish a base-line result and conduct screening?
Does your school have sufficient staff to accommodate fluctuations in testing volumes based on the ‘Community Indicator Level’?
Does your school have sufficient staff to conduct contact tracing if an outbreak occurs?

Table 3. Potential Actions based on Community Indicator Level

NOTE: Select state and county to populate data for current 7-day period compared to previous 7-day period to determine the level of community transmission for COVID-19 in the county where your school is located

Follow the Data

The National Academies of Science published a report that states:

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“fast, frequent testing can help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in a larger and diverse university community, but it must also be emphasized that the testing is only one component of a coherent mitigation strategy.”

The report also states that “colleges and universities need to balance fulfilling their missions with the safety of everyone on campus and, testing will continue to be necessary even after a vaccine is available.”5 The summary of best practice about COVID-19 testing strategies can be used by every school as a checklist on safely conducting in-person learning regardless of the school size.”5

The National Institute of Health funded a study to “examine the clinical outcomes, cost, and cost-effectiveness of COVID-19 mitigation strategies on college campuses” which found:

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“extensive social distancing with a mandatory mask-wearing policy can prevent most COVID-19 cases on college campuses and is very cost-effective.  Routine laboratory testing would prevent 96% of infections and require low-cost tests to be economically attractive.”6

As more viral tests receive FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and novel, rapid testing strategies demonstrate success, schools can determine the most efficient, cost-effective solution to offer their students, faculty and, staff for in-person learning now and during the Fall 2021 semester.   Without a robust, turn-key COVID-19 Testing Solution, enrollment will continue to decrease in colleges across the country and more students will choice the “gap-year” option which is lost revenue for many schools.7

Is Your Institution Prepared?

Do your school administrators, medical staff, and coaches have access to technology that links Antigen Rapid Tests (screening), and RT-PCR Tests (establish a base-line or as confirmatory) to the same individual?

Is your school able to use technology to report on-site Antigen Rapid Test results used for screening to the state health department per CDC guidelines?
Does your school have technology that can show all tests by specific athletic team, residence hall, department, etc.?
Has your school implemented a daily health assessment questionnaire to capture the real-time health status of its students, faculty, and staff?

CHECKLIST: FIND OUT IF YOUR INSTITUTION IS PREPARED

ARE YOU UNSURE IF YOUR INSTITUTION IS PREPARED? SPARTAN MEDICAL CAN HELP!

COVID-19 TESTING SOLUTION TAILORED TO YOUR SCHOOL’S NEEDS

Spartan Medical can provide a customized COVID-19 testing proposal which includes Supplies, Services, and Integration, tailored to your school’s needs.  Please complete our brief online questionnaire with basic information pertaining to your school’s testing requirements and someone from Spartan will get in touch ASAP with a FREE, personalized consult based on your responses.  For any urgent requests, please contact us at 1-888-240-8091.