UW announces coronavirus testing program for students, faculty

UW announces coronavirus testing program for students, faculty
University of Washington Drumheller Fountain (Martin Kraft/Wikimedia Commons)

The University of Washington announced its new coronavirus testing program as faculty, staff and students return to campus in late September.

The Husky Coronavirus Testing program is a voluntary program beginning Sept. 24. All students and employees who will regularly be on campus or living in group housing, either on campus or in a nearby neighborhood, are encouraged to sign up.

The free testing will be administered on testing sites on the Seattle campus, and self-administered tests will be provided at the Bothell and Tacoma campuses.

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“People of all ages with underlying health conditions are at higher risk for developing severe illness and the long-term effects of COVID-19 illness are still unclear,” UW President Ana Mari Cauce said. “The sooner we get the pandemic under control, the sooner we can return to a more ‘normal’ way of living, learning and working.”

Dr. Geoffrey Gottlieb, an infectious disease expert in the UW School of Medicine, said that the school expects to find up to a few hundred positive cases when students return to school.

“Identifying these positive individuals right away – and getting them into self-isolation – is critical toward stemming any spread on campus once in-person instruction and other campus activities begin,” Dr. Gottlieb said.

The program aims to test about 1,000 people per week.

Rapid testing will also be available if someone in a shared living or work environment gets a positive test.

Fall quarter at UW begins Sept. 30.