The College is offering weekly COVID-19 testing to all students living off campus in Brunswick for the fall 2020 semester. The plan was announced in an August 26 email from Student Health Insurance Coordinator Cathy Hayes. All costs associated with testing will be covered by the College.
“We came to the decision [to offer testing] by acknowledging our relationship to the Brunswick community and our desire to help keep the entire [town of] Brunswick safe,” wrote Mike Ranen, Associate Dean of Student Affairs and COVID-19 resource coordinator, in an email to the Orient.
Testing is being offered from Mid Coast Hospital’s Parkview facility, approximately a five-minute drive from campus. Students were expected to schedule initial in-person appointments at the facility between September 1 and September 11 in order to ensure proper procedures for test collection. All subsequent tests will be administered through take-home kits that can be collected and dropped off at the Parkview facility Monday through Friday during business hours.
Students are sent results via email within 72 hours of the time their test is received by NorDx Laboratories in Scarborough. The College does not receive the results of any off-campus student tests. In the case of a positive result, students receive a call from the NorDx Medical Director and are expected to follow CDC guidelines for isolation.
“Overall, it’s been a really simple process and relatively easy to continue getting tested every week,” wrote Gillian Raley ’21, a student living off campus, in an email to the Orient.
All off-campus students living within Brunswick’s town limits have been invited to take part in the testing program. In her original email, Hayes reached out to students who had previously received approval from the Office of Residential Life to live off campus for the fall 2020 semester, as well as students who had recently submitted a local address change to Brunswick in their online enrollment form.
Only minor complications have emerged in the testing process so far.
“We are aware of an issue with students receiving the email link to obtain their results,” wrote Ranen. “While we work with [Information Technology] to fix this, we have provided students a phone number so results could be obtained.”
Raley has been calling to receive her results due to the email complications.
This is more of a convenience problem than anything else, but it still means we usually don’t receive our official results for a couple days,” wrote Raley in an email to the Orient.
Off campus students have reported great appreciation for the testing program.
“I think this is an incredibly important service to offer off-campus students,” wrote Raley. “My roommates and I are still taking every precaution possible, but this testing program makes me feel so much more at ease. I don’t have to have this nagging fear that the virus somehow entered our pod or that I’ve unknowingly played a part in community spread.”