Fort Lewis College had given 2,683 COVID-19 tests as of Wednesday, with 17 confirmed cases – all of which were reported during move-in week, when students were required to be tested.
As of Wednesday, the college was reporting no active cases.
FLC has worked with San Juan Basin Public Health to refine its COVID-19 protocols. FLC typically administers 100 to 150 tests to employees and students on campus per week, and test results average a 48-hour turnaround time, said Lauren Savage, FLC spokeswoman.
FLC Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Jeff Dupont said testing procedures on campus are flowing smoothly.
“Monday morning, we tested 142 people in four hours, which was amazing. It was more than one test every two minutes,” he said.
Of the 17 people who tested positive during move-in week, only four showed symptoms, and all students have recovered and are back in the general student population, Dupont said.
Students who test positive are quarantined – FLC has 30 rooms available for students who need to be quarantined.
Students and employees on campus are asked to fill out a daily symptom tracker via an app that can be downloaded on FLC’s website.
Dupont said FLC is trying to encourage greater daily use of the symptom-tracker app, and beginning next week it will require all students entering common spaces to show they have completed the daily symptom-tracking app.
“We want to ensure students are vigilant around using the app and symptom tracking,” Dupont said.
Through the app, students and employees who don’t have symptoms receive a health pass and clearance to come to campus. If they log symptoms, they get a notification to stay home, and staff members from the Health Center reach out to coordinate COVID-19 testing and proper health care, Savage said.
The school is using QR scans to log everyone’s movements on campus to aid if contact tracing is required.
QR scanning allows contact tracers to reach out to anyone who may have been in proximity of any identified COVID-19-positive individual.
The school also has student coaches, case management teams and faculty teams in regular contact with students to help with COVID-19 issues.
The teams will refer students to the Health Center and help put in place stay-at-home protocols if a student exhibits COVID-19 symptoms.
If students must quarantine, they continue learning through remote options.
“Our faculty has adapted classrooms incredibly and are not only teaching students but also effectively communicating to them the collective responsibility in virus mitigation it takes to continue with in-person learning,” Savage said.
Last week, FLC ramped up random testing for COVID-19 in an effort to catch any asymptomatic cases on campus, Dupont said. The school started conducting 200 random tests of people on campus, and that will continue.
Dupont said having no one test positive after move-in week was unexpected.
“We anticipated ongoing cases we would be dealing with,” he said. “We’re very pleased with the way our community has taken this seriously. But to be honest, we’re surprised at the low case numbers after the first couple of weeks of school.”