Putting COVID-19 to the Test

USM offers rapid antigen and PCR return-to-school testing at no cost to USM faculty, staff, and students.

In addition to amplified cleaning efforts, masks, and physical distancing, USM administrators have added another weapon in their fight against COVID-19 spread: school-wide testing. The school has partnered with Novir to offer both rapid antigen and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 tests to USM faculty, staff, and students. Nearly 2,400 students, faculty, and staff were tested at no cost ahead of their return to school after both Thanksgiving and winter breaks. Of those tests, a total of five were confirmed as positive cases. Anyone in the USM community who wishes to be tested may do so at the school’s on-campus testing site.

USM worked closely with Dr. Kevin Dahlman ’92 and Peter Klug ’93 to develop its testing solution. Dahlman is the medical director for Aurora Children’s Health and the pediatrics department lead – primary care service line for Advocate Aurora Health, and Klug is director of channel development with Novir. “We spent several months looking at options for testing,” said Head of School Steve Hancock, “and we tried to develop a program that’s sustainable in both the number of tests and cost.”

The testing is designed to identify asymptomatic carriers of the COVID-19 virus, and has helped to limit the spread of the virus at school.

USM Community Testing Now Available

On-campus COVID-19 testing is now available to all USM students (and their families), alumni and parents of alumni (and their families), and USM employees and their families). USM employee testing is offered at no charge.

The types of tests being offered, and their costs, are as follows:

  • Rapid antigen test: $80 (nasal swab); results in 15 minutes
  • Rapid antibody test: $80 (finger prick blood draw); results in 15 minutes
  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test: $150 (nasal swab); results in 24–48 hours

Visit our COVID-19 reopening and information website for more information.

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