USC Student Health announced Thursday that it will expand COVID-19 testing as part of its strategy to help keep students, faculty and staff safe on its campuses.
Beginning in August, USC will begin ramping up to a minimum of 500 tests per day for students and on-site faculty and staff. It will set up three observed sample-collection sites and will eventually transition to an unobserved self-collection model, to increase access to fast, convenient and efficient surveillance testing, according to Dr. Sarah Van Orman, USC’s Student Health’s chief health officer.
“By increasing our testing capacity, we will be able to more quickly capture and contain sources of infection,” Van Orman said.
She added that partnering with Color, a company that specializes in distributed healthcare and clinical testing, “will expand our knowledge of prevalence and detection of asymptomatic cases at USC, so that we may make better-informed healthcare decisions.”
The program is being operated through Color’s technology and testing infrastructure, including software to manage risk screening, onsite and distributed testing logistics and processing of samples.
The company’s approach is designed to “integrate software and infrastructure with high-throughput, automated lab capacity to improve access to COVID testing for large populations.”
“USC is at the forefront of implementing a responsible, evidence-based program to optimize a safe campus,” said Color CEO Othman Laraki. “Convenient and regular surveillance testing with rapid turnaround times can significantly reduce the risk of a campus outbreak.”
The population surveillance testing program, named “Pop Testing,” is scheduled to begin next month with current summer campus constituents and expand to the larger campus populations throughout the fall semester.