61ºF

Liberty University creates triage center to test students for COVID-19

School still waiting on rapid testing equipment delivery, using outside lab for results

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Any Liberty University student who feels sick or has coronavirus like symptoms will come to LU’s Triage Center to be screened.

“The moment you enter in these hallways there’s a negative pressure chamber. We’re doing an air scrubber. And we’re turning over the air in this particular section of the building at least six times per hour,” Dr. Keith Anderson, executive director for LU Student Health Services, said.

Separate and far away from its normal health center, the school converted storage space into nine bays.

While students are being asked contact tracing questions, they’re also reminded to keep their distance.

There are stickers that read “6-feet apart” on the floor.

Doctors on campus say testing varies day to day.

“We’ve seen anywhere as few as 20. We’ve tested as many as 60 in one day at this point in time,” Dr. Joanna Thomas, medical director, said

Liberty tells 10 News they use an ID badge system to help notify students who may have been exposed.

“They’re getting notification through their email system that states you have had direct exposure based on contact tracing, or you that you’ve even been in the same building as someone who’s tested positive,” Thomas said.

LU says its positivity rate is at a .33% leaving them in good standing right now.

But there’s still one problem — the university say it is still waiting on its rapid testing equipment.

The school is relying on an outside lab for test results that could take about 2 days.

“I wouldn’t say there’s a drastic need. I mean we’re able to handle what we have and we’re able to manage. But it would be much easier and better for the logistics if we were actually able to have a point of code test machine,” Thomas said.

Liberty is one of the few schools in our area that is not reporting its positive cases. School leaders say they’re working on a public dashboard system that they hope to launch in mid-September.