search button
newscenter logo
Saturday, April 17, 2021

Follow SDSU Follow SDSU on Twitter Follow SDSU on Facebook SDSU RSS Feed

Students wearing masks in front of Hepner Hall Students wearing masks in front of Hepner Hall
 


Student Health Services Surpasses 25,000 COVID-19 Tests

The milestone is the result of a coordinated, multidisciplinary and ongoing effort that makes testing accessible to any student who needs or wants it.
By Ryan Schuler
 

“So many individuals came together — and continue to come together — each day to help us navigate and sustain what has been a very successful testing program.”

In August, San Diego State University’s Student Health Services (SHS) answered the call to provide students with access to free COVID-19 testing, also allowing the university to monitor and address transmission trends in real time.

This week, SHS surpassed an important milestone: 25,000 COVID-19 tests administered to SDSU students through the university’s surveillance testing program

“We are very fortunate at SDSU to have an exceptional Student Health Services team, bolstered by public health and student support experts on campus, along with strong partners in the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency,” said Libby Skiles, director of Student Health Services. “So many individuals came together — and continue to come together — each day to help us navigate and sustain what has been a very successful testing program.” 

“This was a multidisciplinary approach,” Skiles added. “There are a lot of pieces of the process that people don’t always see after that swab leaves their hand. It was definitely a big undertaking to get that many tests up and going. At the same time, it was a critical priority for our campus community, and we were proud to respond.”

Currently, SHS administers 300-400 tests per day, a significant increase from the nearly 100 tests per day in the early days of the program.

As part of SDSU’s ongoing approach to both monitor and mitigate COVID-19 within the campus community, SHS serves as the hub for student groups required to participate in surveillance testing. 

“From the beginning, and in close collaboration with university epidemiologists, the Student Health Services team has had a singular focus on student health and community well-being,” said SDSU President Adela de la Torre. “We could not have a gradual and safe campus repopulation plan without their careful research and assessment, and the direct interventions they are offering.” 

Today, SDSU continues to require that all students living in on campus housing, who are taking in-person classes or who are involved in university research get regular COVID-19 testing. Any student displaying symptoms, may have had possible exposure or is interested in taking a COVID-19 test for any reason is also welcomed at SHS.

Skiles credits de la Torre and other university leaders for providing SHS with the resources to undertake the critical testing program and current vaccine distribution plan.

“We’re lucky to have university leadership that has been very supportive of our efforts to provide the testing that we need to contain and prevent the spread within our community,” said Skiles. “It speaks to the leadership’s understanding of the criticality of testing.”

In expanding its COVID-19 response, the university has been working to secure an expanded weekly allocation of COVID-19 vaccines so that members of the campus community have an additional, on-campus choice when they are able to get vaccinated. 

On Feb. 2, SHS received its first 300 Moderna vaccine doses following the state of California’s approval for SDSU to administer COVID-19 vaccines to the campus community. A second allocation of 300 vaccines was  received Feb. 25, and is being used for both second-doses for the SDSU community aged 65 and above, as well as for on-campus faculty, staff, and student employees. 

All vaccines have been administered in accordance with the state and County of San Diego’s eligibility plan. All campus community members are encouraged to get vaccinated when they become eligible to do so, and can sign up at a number of county and provider based locations.  

“We’re looking forward to supporting vaccine distribution for county tier 1B,” said Skiles. “We are excited watching the approvals of additional vaccines, and what we’re hoping will be a more regular supply to really be able to tackle our full population. It’s the most critical step to begin the conversation of returning to campus.”

COVID-19 testing is available by appointment only. Online scheduling is available through HealtheConnect, the university’s secure online health portal. Students can also schedule appointments by calling Student Health Services at 619-594-4325. 

Additional information on SDSU’s vaccination plan is available at: sdsu.edu/covid19vaccine.