September 3, 2020
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
To respond to rumors circulating on social media about our testing protocol, I want to provide the following information.
The University of South Carolina is committed to testing as many students, faculty and staff as possible. We have temporarily paused saliva testing because of a personnel shortage due to a key lab staffer becoming ill. The lab is unable to operate without this staffer's presence.
In order to get our saliva testing capacity operational, we are working with two of our community partners, the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control and Nephron Pharmaceuticals, who are providing back-up staffing and additional testing support. Nephron conducted 126 faculty and 98 student nasal swab tests today and we hope to increase their capacity throughout the next few days. We are currently certifying staff to resume saliva testing as soon as we can. We feel certain we will have it ready for student testing after the long weekend.
In the meantime, students who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 can make an appointment to get tested at Student Health Services or visit Columbia-area testing sites. Details and testing schedules will be posted on our COVID-19 website.
Our priority remains the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, and we want to ensure our testing protocol supports that. As we proceed, we will keep you informed of our laboratory status and when we are back to full capacity.