In a video message to the student body on Sept. 19, Dr. Sarah Neal, lead of AU’s COVID-19 Task Force, announced the introduction of voluntary randomized COVID-19 testing for AU’s campus.
“We need to keep testing,” said Neal. “That’s because about 40-45% of all cases are asymptomatic, meaning people have absolutely no symptoms whatsoever. They’re carrying the virus, and they’re sharing it with their friends, even though they don’t mean to.”
Due to the significant number COVID-19 cases being asymptomatic, Neal and AU’s COVID-19 Task Force have been partnering with the Madison County Health Department to develop a process for randomized testing. Neal explained that participation in the testing is voluntary but highly encouraged.
“It’s an invitation,” Neal said. “I hope that you’ll say yes, because the more people we test, we can find those positive people that don’t know that they have the virus, and are shedding it and sharing it with others, then we can get them out of circulation through isolation and we can quarantine their contacts.”
Neal explained that she has been encouraged by how students are handling the new COVID-19 restrictions on campus so far.
“We have been successful for these first three weeks of classes, and I am so thrilled,” said Neal. “Thank you, and keep it up. This is not the time to slack off at all, because we’re heading into cold and flu season.”