Randomized testing begins, Campuses to be treated separately


Katie Walsh

Campus will be more lively in the fall with more in-person classes and required vaccinations for students, staff and faculty. However, not everything will return to normal.

Emily Teixeira

Earlier this month, Pace launched its COVID-19 dashboard, a page on the school website where students, staff, and faculty can monitor the prevalence of COVID-19 on each campus. The dashboard comes with a color-coding system so that the community can see at a glance where each campus stands in terms of cases and how it will impact their daily lives. (See https://pacechronicle.com/news/2020/09/03/17114/ for more information on the dashboard)

According to Andréa Sonenberg, Pace’s Coronavirus Coordination Officer, each campus will be treated separately when it comes to case monitoring and response procedures. If one campus contracts more cases than the other, then that campus will be submitted to stricter precautions than the other This means it would be possible for one campus to completely shut down while the other campus resumes in-person operations.

As of Friday, Sept. 11, all three of Pace’s campuses were listed at the green alert level, meaning that cases are rare, transmission is controlled, and there is adequate isolation space available should it be needed. On this day, Sonenberg sent out an email detailing upcoming testing procedures to ensure that this data remains accurate and Pace’s response procedures remain appropriate.

According to Sonenberg, Pace will randomly select 25 percent of its students (commuters, and residential), faculty, and staff for COVID testing each week. Those selected will be contacted via email and be asked to schedule a test time that works best for them.

The test consists of a self-administered nasal swab under the supervision of an expert from Cayuga Health System. Results will be available within twenty-four hours. Positive cases will spend at least ten days in isolation. The university and local Departments of Health will identify and notify anyone who has come in contact with an infected person and ask that they quarantine for fourteen days.

For a comprehensive list of test-related questions and answers, see https://www.pace.edu/return-to-campus/faq#weeklyTesting.

“We believe this new testing protocol, in combination with ongoing use of the PaceSafe app and the various measures taken to reduce density and increase adherence to safety measures on our campuses, will allow us to move quickly and responsibly to protect our campus and keep people safe,” Sonenberg said. “We’re counting on everyone’s cooperation to protect our community.”