With the assistance of a mobile testing lab, which was first developed for military field-testing operations, Neumann screened 331 students for COVID-19 in the Mirenda Center parking lot before they moved into residence halls on January 15 and 16.
FlowMetric Life Sciences, a laboratory research company based in Doylestown, PA, developed the mobile lab and partnered with Neumann to provide the tests. Renold Capocasale, the CEO and founder of FlowMetric, is a member of the university board of trustees.
All of Neumann’s more than 500 students who moved into residence facilities for the spring semester were assigned a specific time between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to report, in their vehicles, to one of three tents in the parking lot of the Mirenda Center. They were asked to present evidence of a negative COVID-19 test, taken within 72 hours of their return to campus, or take a self-administered test upon arrival.
Only two tested positive and were not permitted to move into the residence facilities. Those students were given a list of sites where they can get PCR tests and asked to quarantine at home. They may email negative test results to the university and be cleared to live on campus.
Students who presented documentation of a recent negative test and those whose on-campus tests were negative were given a clearance pass to grant them access to the residence halls.
Neumann covered the costs of the on-campus tests, all processed within approximately 90 minutes in the lab, which was equipped with three medical technicians and completed test results in groups of 10. The lab is one of the first of its kind in the country.
Neumann graduate nursing students and laboratory personnel from FlowMetric, which also supplied the testing kits, were on hand to instruct and assist the resident students.
“Safeguarding our Neumann University campus community and creating a safe and healthy learning environment is of utmost importance," said Dr. Chris Domes. "FlowMetric’s mobile lab and high-quality testing capabilities are allowing us to do that by facilitating the testing of hundreds of students."
This on-campus testing was FlowMetric’s first large-scale COVID screening event for the mobile lab.
Ongoing, random testing of residential students will continue throughout the spring semester. The schedule for this testing is still in development.