This artifact is the COVID-19 testing kit used for students and staff on campus at Merrimack College. It consists of a sterile polyester swab and test tube. These tests are self-administered swab tests approved by the Broad Institute. (The above kit represents the kits in usage during the fall 2021 semester.)
In the return to campus guidelines for the fall semester of 2020, students were required to get tested once a week. Students had designated time slots on their schedule. During the school year of 2020-2021, the testing was administered in the multi-purpose room (MPR), of the Sakowich Campus Center. It was organized by student workers working the desks and taking down Merrimack identification cards, along with hired medical personnel administering the COVID-19 tests. For the spring semester of 2020, requirements shifted to mandatory testing twice a week. (At certain points during the semester, daily testing was required due to upticks in cases.) In total there were about 180,000 on-campus tests administered in the school year of 2020.
For the fall semester of 2021, students and faculty were required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 and were surveillance tested once a week. The tests were organized in order of the first initial of last names for specific days of the week. Unlike the 2020-2021 school year, tests during the fall of 2021 were self-administered under supervision of hired medical personnel in the Rogers Center for the Arts. On December 6, 2021, the 14 day rolling total for administered tests stood at 2,665, with the cumulative test count numbering 209,203. The college had reported 127 breakthrough cases throughout the fall semester.
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