The Campus & Community Advisory Committee met Tuesday to discuss entry-testing requirements for COVID-19 before and during the spring semester, as well as a web app for COVID-19 regulation.
Committee members discussed how to improve UNC's COVID-19 testing, with suggestions including compliance standards, screening and robust testing.
- Amir Barzin, an assistant professor in the School of Medicine, discussed how students should be tested for COVID-19 before arriving on or off-campus.
- Barzin said that the University of Illinois uses an app where students can verify compliance with university COVID-19 standards.
- Rick Wernoski, the senior vice provost for business operations, said a community-based standard, where professors can check students’ health compliance before entering the classroom, would be a potential option.
- In response to what robust testing and surveillance means, Barzin said that it refers to anywhere from one to three COVID-19 tests per individual a week. He said that if the University sees COVID-19 spikes in one dorm, it should increase testing for that dorm and accommodate appropriately.
- Barzin said he also wants testing data to be streamlined so that if a positive test is reported in the system, the data can flow to the county and state instead of having to separately send multiple times.
- Ethan Phillips, an undergraduate student majoring in public policy, brought up the concern of testing locations and student equity of access for both on campus and off-campus students.
- Committee members also discussed that transportation, time and monetary hardships will be a priority for on- and off-campus future testing locations.
Many committee members agreed that a testing lifecycle app that would tell students when to get tested and provide direct test results would be beneficial. The potential app would be closed loop, meaning that the data would not be accessible to anyone except the individual.