BSU opened its own COVID-19 lab in October. Now, the university credits it allowing in-person classes.

Posted at 6:54 PM, Nov 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 10:33:57-05

Boise State University opened its own COVID-19 clinical lab on campus in October. Now, the university is crediting its in-house lab with helping maintain in-person classes.

The expanding clinical lab allows the university to test campus staff and students, but also first responders, teachers and other community members, according to BSU. Through the on-campus lab, patients receive their results typically that same day or the following day.

The lab opened Oct. 13 with the goal of testing and processing tests for asymptomatic cases through RT-PCR tests. The lab is run by BSU post-doctoral student Stephanie Hudon and staffed with other students, according to the university.

“The university employed a multipronged strategy to mitigate the risk of and respond to COVID infections. Our ability to test is one of the cornerstones of this strategy, along with a robust contact tracing program that helps us identify members of our campus community who have been in close contact with an infected individual and quarantine them to prevent further spread. Contact tracing is most effective when it begins right after a person becomes infected, and having our own lab with fast resulting times has been crucial to helping us begin that process early in the infection cycle” said Alicia Estey, vice president for Public Health in a statement.

BSU is also monitoring waste water to test for COVID-19 to identify pockets of infections and contain the virus before it further spreads.

“Opening the Boise State COVID Lab was a game changer for our campus COVID-19 response,” said public health officer Maureen Welcker in a news release. “Access both to more testing and testing connected with fast results and has greatly improved our ability to identify COVID cases and, in coordination with effective contact tracing, stop further spread of the disease among our Boise State community.”