On Oct. 15, the Office of the President sent out an email informing the Albion community that students will undergo randomized COVID-19 testing in place of the original two week testing structure.
The Office of the President has decided that randomized testing will increase dashboard compliance for testing on the scheduled day. The randomization of testing will also establish a more regular schedule that the administration hopes to be less disruptive for students.
Approximately 100 to 200 students are randomly selected to be tested on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Students will receive an automated text message from Albion’s information number or an email from Cheryl Krause, the director of campus health and wellness, informing them when they have been randomly selected and when their testing day is.
Staff and faculty members, however, remain on the original biweekly testing schedule. Student athletes have their own weekly testing schedule that is determined based on the contact risk of each sport.
President Johnson has worked closely with others from the administration to implement the new testing regimen being used for most of campus. Drew Dunham, associate dean of academic affairs, has prepared the testing lists for the randomized testing. Krause and Kelly Finn, the chief of staff, have also had a say in the new testing process.
“Students are only being tested on the randomized schedule at this time. [They] no longer need to test on Tuesday or Thursday every other week,” said Krause.
While this new testing protocol is called randomized testing, it’s not completely random. Dunham and his COVID-19 response team have created a rotation of seven groups of students representing every housing unit and students not living on campus.
“This way a portion of every housing unit is tested often and all students are tested within a seven-group cycle. It was determined that this type of sampling is better for this situation rather than random sampling,” said Dunham. “If we were doing true random sampling, there is every possibility that a student might never be tested and another student could be selected multiple times.”
The new testing schedule falls directly during the times that Washington Gardner, the location site for testing, is open to the public for free COVID-19 testing. The student entrance has been moved to the side door, previously where students would exit, in order to minimize contact with people outside the college who are also at Washington Gardner receiving COVID-19 tests.