Nazareth College ramping up testing plan for upcoming spring semester


PITTSFORD, N.Y. (WROC) — Many college students in the Rochester area will be starting spring semester classes a bit later this year due to the COVID-19 spike.

Students will be back on campus at Nazareth College on February 1 and President Elizabeth Paul said she can’t wait to welcome them back safely.

Paul said back in the fall, she and her team came up with a few options for how to approach the spring.

“As we came into January, one of our decision dates was that first day back and so we took a look at the area incidence rate and understanding that the trend was still worsening, made the decision to go with the scenario that put us with a February 1 start date,” Paul said.

She said the fall semester was good overall with the positive cases on campus being mild and manageable. This semester, the college will have more testing than it did in the fall.

“We will have a protocol where students have to come back to campus with a negative test and also have a follow-up test the first week. We want to make sure we’re getting off to as clean a start as we can.”

They will also do surveillance testing weekly. A portion of the population, including students, faculty, and staff, will be tested every week. Paul said there may be some weeks they will do more surveillance testing or test a larger portion of the campus population.

Paul said acquiring testing has been challenging but they state is giving them rapid tests. They also expect to receive an order of tests from other companies in February.

A majority of classes will be in-person or hybrid with a few being completely remote.

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