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UCF’s random, targeted COVID-19 testing to begin with Greek students

UCF will begin required random testing for COVID-19 next week by selecting 100 students in one subgroup of UCF’s population and sending those who do not comply to student conduct. 

Dr. Michael Deichen, associate vice president of UCF Student Health Services, said in a Tuesday statement that the goal is to determine how prevalent the virus is at UCF and to detect possible outbreaks and identify emerging trends.

“We will begin with a random sample of about 100 students who belong to Greek organizations because Greek students have been at higher risk of contracting the virus at universities throughout the country and because UCF has already had to quarantine residents of three on-campus houses,” Deichen said.

Random COVID-19 tests will be required for students, faculty and staff who are selected, unless they never come to any UCF campus, the statement reads.

“Students who are part of the first round of testing will be notified via their Knights email on Thursday,” Deichen said. “They will be required to participate in testing with our partner, Aventus Biolabs, between Monday, Sept. 21 and Wednesday, Sept. 23, in Garage A. The university will cover the cost of the tests.”

“Those who do come to campus and refuse to be tested may be required to self-isolate and remain off campus for two weeks and also may be subject to disciplinary action,” Deichen said.

The random COVID-19 testing will continue throughout the semester with randomly selected members of groups that we believe may be at risk of increased rates of COVID-19 cases, or with students, faculty and staff selected randomly, the statement reads.

“If we identify an unexpectedly high rate of cases through random testing, we will further review the situation and may conduct additional testing to help contain the spread of COVID-19,” Deichen said.

Knight News first covered the random testing on Sept. 6, when Deichen said both random and targeted groups would be tested for the coronavirus. 

Florida State University informed its community on Sept. 4 it would also be performing random, targeted COVID-19 testing. 

Initially, FSU planned to randomly test individuals for COVID-19 and said randomized testing per group may be adjusted according to the risk present within each — the statement said grouping may be revised as needed.

  • Undergraduate students living off-campus. 
  • Students in university residence halls. 
  • Graduate students, faculty and staff participating in on-campus activities. 
Screenshot of FSU’s Sept. 4 announcement.

FSU initially said a fourth group of individuals that could include students with high rates of participation in student events or those participating in fraternity and sorority life would be tested, but on Monday, FSU changed its position. 

“Participants are selected based on a weekly review of on-campus activity, such as card swipes, Wi-Fi access, and events,” the Monday statement reads. “Testing invitations are then randomized into 3 main groups: students in university residence halls, students living off-campus, and faculty and staff.” 

Knight News is working on this developing story. Check back for updates.

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