Lafayette students head back to campus expecting weekly COVID-19 testing

Written by on February 8, 2021

 Lafayette students head back to campus expecting weekly COVID-19 testing

By Haley O’Brien

February 8, 2021

The average coronavirus case typically has 10 close contacts according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. But that number could easily be much higher on a college campus. 

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Lafayette College students had one homework assignment over winter break- take a COVID-19 test at home.

They were allowed to move into their dorms after receiving negative results. Then had to quarantine after taking another test there.

Almost everyone at the college will be tested weekly, says Annette Diorio, vice president for campus life at Lafayette. 

“When we saw a few cases in the fall, we actually deployed a round of population testing and it proved to be helpful in quickly identifying where we had other cases. And when we considered the density that we would have, we really just felt like checking every student every week was the bar, where we needed to be,” Diorio says.

The college is encouraging the students to only gather in groups of five or fewer but, she says, restrictions may loosen as the semester goes on.

“We gave them some tips about talking to roommates about how much risk you can tolerate and where your risk boundaries are, and I think students are having those conversations,” she says. 

More than 2,000 students are living on the Lafayette campus and going to a mix of in-person and online classes. 

About 500 students chose to stick to virtual learning only.

Other schools in the area that are welcoming students back to campus life include DeSales University, Lehigh University and Moravian College

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