University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Ronnie Green announced plans for randomized testing of students, faculty and staff in a letter Friday morning.
In the letter, Green explained that UNL has been using nasal swab “PCR” testing for individual diagnostic testing. Other universities that have been using faster, saliva-based testing are spending tens of millions of dollars to do so and are only able to use that data for general surveillance testing, Green said in the letter.
He also addressed the testing which the Big Ten supplies for athletes, which he says is faster but less accurate and requires a follow-up PCR test to confirm results.
If selected for a randomized diagnostic nasal swab test, a student will receive an email explaining the situation and receiving directions for the free testing procedure, Green said in the letter.
Green also said that all individuals who have been placed under quarantine by LLCHD or who voluntarily quarantined will be tested again. These individuals are asked to remain where they are or to contact the university for free isolation housing, not to return to their permanent residence, he said.
Green said the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department has not yet seen any confirmed evidence of classroom transmission of COVID-19 on campus.
These new testing opportunities include expanded access to the free TestNebraska testing site at the 17th and R parking garage, which will be available on Sundays from 1-4 p.m., in addition to the 3-6 p. m. weekday hours held previously.
The University Health Center also provides tests after a telehealth consultation Monday through Saturday.