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Randomized testing is key to keeping Mason’s coronavirus rate low

October 15, 2020

George Mason University’s active cases of COVID-19 remain low, thanks to everybody doing their part. Active cases and testing data are available on the COVID-19 dashboard.

There are approximately 11,500 students enrolled in some type of face-to-face instruction this fall and 1,200 faculty teaching on campus.

A big reason that Mason has been able to maintain those levels is the randomized testing of asymptomatic community members at the Ángel Cabrera Global Center on the Fairfax Campus. An algorithm built by Mason faculty selects people to invite for testing from among those who have indicated they will be on campus at some point during the semester.

The testing center can accommodate approximately 200 people a day or around 1,000 people per week, Monday through Friday, according to Carol Urban, Mason’s director of COVID testing and screening operations.

It’s important to remember that the testing site is not set up for walk-in appointments. Faculty or staff who think they may have been exposed and need a diagnostic test should consult their health care providers.

Employees and students who have not been referred by Student Health Services for testing should be prepared to show their green COVID Health Check at the testing site. The site staff cannot perform the testing without this verification. Students who have been directed to the Global Center for testing by Student Health Services will not have to show a green COVID Health Check.

“We appreciate the campus community’s efforts in keeping our transmission rate low,” said Julie Zobel, assistant vice president for safety, emergency, and enterprise risk management. “Participation in surveillance testing when selected, continuing to wear face coverings, practice physical distancing and good hand hygiene, and avoiding large gatherings are the key to everyone’s continued health and safety.”

Tests are processed by a certified lab, and results are communicated by test site staff. Learn more about the testing here.