BGSU masks BGSU mask

A student wears a face covering while walking on the campus of Bowling Green State University Tuesday afternoon.

Beginning next week, Bowling Green State University will implement randomized surveillance testing for undergraduate and graduate students on the main campus. The program focuses on testing students who do not have coronavirus symptoms (asymptomatic).

“By participating in this testing, you will help us get a more accurate assessment of COVID-19 on our campuses, which will ultimately drive critical decisions that allow us the best opportunity to keep our campuses open and deliver the most traditional experience possible,” said Ben Batey, BGSU chief health officer, in a Thursday email.

“This testing is being done in consultation with epidemiologists and local health departments and hospital systems. It allows us to better understand the prevalence rate of COVID-19 in our campus community and serve the public health of our region.”

What to expect if selected to participate:

Students randomly selected each week will be notified via their university email and/or text message to schedule a date and time, along with instructions for next steps. Testing will take place on the BGSU campus or at Falcon Health Center.

Upon receiving the email and/or text notification that they have been selected for surveillance testing, students will have one week to get tested. There is no cost to the student, and test results will be available within three to five days.

While students await test results, they do not have to stay home in quarantine, so long as they are not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. If a test result is positive for COVID-19, the student will be contacted by a BGSU or Wood County Health Department contact tracer. The university will work with the student to develop the most appropriate isolation plan.

Guidelines for participation:

If students are selected for surveillance testing, participation in the program is expected as part of the COVID-19 Personal and Community Health Requirements and Falcon Commitment, which aims to serve our public health mission of monitoring and reducing the transmission of COVID-19.

Batey said that the university recognizes there are exemptions to randomized surveillance testing, which include: students who are not coming to the main campus and do not have in-person interactions with anyone who is on-campus; students who are younger than 18 years of age; and, students who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days. If students are selected for the program and choose to opt out, they will need to fill out a form that will be part of the notification email explaining the exemption.

Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should contact a health care provider or the Falcon Health Center for next steps.

“Thank you for all you are doing to keep our campuses safe and healthy. We are truly in this together, and your participation in this program will make a difference,” Batey said.