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Gannon's On-Campus COVID-19 Screening, Tracing, Policies Upholding Health & Safety

Published: 03/05/2021

Lab at Gannon University

Lab at Gannon University

Weekly on-campus screening, along with contact tracing, isolation and quarantine procedures and CARE teams have all been instrumental in Gannon’s ongoing management of COVID-19’s impact on campus life. Between 500 and 1,000 samples are processed each week on the Erie campus, with a positivity rate of less than 1%. 
 

Our campus classrooms have proven to be safe learning environments for our students.

To keep our community safe, Gannon outlined modifications around classroom learning, housing and dining, and social interactions. Students, staff and faculty wear their masks, keep their distance and submit daily health screenings using the LiveSafe app. They also take temperature screenings in key buildings and offices and follow safety guidelines, with resources publicly available at update.gannon.edu. 

Gannon’s COVID-19 surveillance program includes in-house screening and contact tracing to limit the spread of the virus. Others have taken innovative approaches to deliver education, like faculty who are using artificial emotional intelligence to bring student-teacher fieldwork experiences directly to students’ laptops. 

Gannon also implemented a care program to provide meals and other essential items to those students who are quarantining or in isolation. 

Since Dec. 28 - Gannon has completed 9,615 tests on the Erie campus, with 281 in Ruskin, Florida. If you include the fall, GU has surpassed more than 17,000 tests. 

“A major benefit of us screening on our own campus is that we can get accurate, affordable results that are guaranteed to be returned in less than 24 hours,” said Steve Mauro, Ph.D., vice president of strategies and campus operations at Gannon. “The faster turnaround time allows us to identify and isolate positive individuals very quickly. This has helped us keep contacts very low, which is part of the reason why our positivity rate has been so manageable.”

Raechel Miller oversees the university tracing program and emphasized its role in monitoring the prevalence of COVID-19 on campus.

“Gannon is being proactive in the fact that we’re going out looking for positives. We’re actively seeking people who may be asymptomatic positive and would not normally be caught any other way except through our surveillance testing of identified populations and random groups on campus each week,” Miller said.

Miller said the COVID-19 program also involves screening employees and students who report symptoms through the university’s LiveSafe app or through the Health Center.

Miller also leads in-house contact tracing efforts to quarantine any close contacts associated with a positive case. “We definitely have an advantage doing our own internal tracing. Once we have a positive case, we’re able to get all close contacts into quarantine a lot faster than if they were being traced by the county,” Miller said.

As vaccines become more abundantly available, Gannon will continue to monitor applicable guidance and make updates accordingly. We truly appreciate everything each member of our Gannon family has done to uphold the health and safety of our community.