Officials expand COVID-19 testing to exposed, symptomatic off-campus students

Officials are expanding GW’s in-house testing to include off-campus students if they show symptoms of COVID-19 or believe they have been exposed to the virus.

Administrators said in an email to the GW community Tuesday that the expansion will help protect the “entire community” and provide “insight” into off-campus positive cases. The Delta Tau Delta fraternity shut down their off-campus house last week after some members tested positive.

“The COVID-19 transmission rate in the Washington, D.C. region continues to be significant,” officials wrote in the email. “We have confirmed several positive COVID-19 cases among members of our student population who are not part of the on-campus cohort. It is important to identify, isolate and provide support for all cases, as well as health care, where needed.”

Students will be eligible for the test if they present symptoms of the virus or “are worried” they have had “possible COVID-19 contact.” Off-campus students in these cases can now schedule a test by logging into GW’s medical portal, according to the email.

“If you don’t meet these criteria and you want to be tested for other reasons, you may arrange for testing through the Medical Faculty Associates or other testing sites in the area,” the email states.

Ten members of the GW community have tested positive for COVID-19 since officials began the University’s in-house testing in mid-August, according to the University’s testing dashboard. Officials have conducted more than 10,000 COVID-19 tests since Aug. 15.

Roughly 500 students remaining on campus are required to receive a test regularly in addition to all employees and contractors working on campus.

Officials said test results continue to be made available within 24 hours and are automatically shared with GW’s contact tracing team.

“In this way, we hope to be able to provide prompt clinical care and other support to any of our students in the region who contract the COVID-19 virus,” officials said in the email.

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