Auburn to manage campus sentinel testing program in spring 2021

Published: November 06, 2020
Font Size

Article body

Dear Auburn Family,

As part of our preparations for spring semester, the university continues to invest in important measures designed to keep our campus safe. Sentinel testing is an important component of Auburn’s comprehensive health strategy, and your participation is essential to the program’s success. In response to your feedback, and informed by our experiences this year, Auburn will manage our campus sentinel testing program in the spring.

The program will be facilitated by the Harrison School of Pharmacy’s Pharmaceutical Care Clinic. By leveraging Auburn’s wealth of faculty and clinical expertise, we hope to alleviate many of the concerns you have shared regarding the GuideSafe™ testing platform, which was operated by an externally contracted vendor. Below are a few improvements to expect in spring:

  • All on-campus, students, faculty and staff will automatically be registered to participate. No account set-up is required. Correspondence will be easier to identify, as all communications will have A Healthier U branding.

  • Same-day test results will be available. Auburn’s sentinel testing program will use rapid COVID-19 testing technology, allowing for a faster campus response.

  • Auburn will control eligibility files and the random testing selection process. With fewer parties involved in file management, program administrators can respond to and resolve issues promptly.

  • COVID-19 protocols will be triggered sooner. By offering same-day test results and removing third parties from the testing program, we will streamline the notification process and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of quarantine, isolation and contact tracing.

    Along with Gov. Ivey and Alabama public health officials, we believe sentinel testing is crucial to protecting our campuses from virus spread. While the ambitious, fast-paced launch of GuideSafe™ testing presented many challenges, Auburn’s participation allowed us to establish our own best practices and learn from the experiences of our academic colleagues across the state. By managing our own sentinel testing program, we believe Auburn can better contribute to our state’s COVID-19 response.

    If you are invited, your participation will remain optional. However, we encourage you to consider how your participation can impact the broader campus health, as a larger pool of participants increases our ability to identify and respond to emerging virus transmission trends. We urge you to be tested if you are randomly selected to do so, and incentives will be offered to those who participate.

    The adaptability and cooperation demonstrated by Auburn students, faculty and staff this year has been outstanding, and it has reinforced our confidence that moving forward independently with sentinel testing is the best choice for Auburn. Thank you for your continued support.

    Warm regards,

    Kimberly Braxton Lloyd, Pharm.D.
    Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs and Outreach
    Gilliland Professor
    Harrison School of Pharmacy