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Weekly Campus Monitor

Weekly Campus Monitor: Early Testing Success

UD Continues with Comprehensive COVID-19 Testing

 Date published: Sept. 4, 2020 
COVID Tracker


As the Class of 2024 moved onto UD’s Irving campus, the COVID-19 Preparedness Committee and university officials required that all residential students be tested upon arrival to safeguard students and the greater UD campus community.

As of Friday, Sept. 4, there have been only four positive tested cases out of nearly 1,000 tests performed on campus since June, with no currently active COVID-19 cases. Testing numbers and positive case incidents are available on the university’s COVID Case Report here.

UD’s mandatory testing policy earned a mention in a recent Dallas Morning News story about the wide variety of university and college reopening policies: 

“Only one — the University of Dallas — tested all students when they arrived on campus, and plans to continue broad testing throughout the fall,” wrote Sue Ambrose, investigative reporter via DMN, “How Texas campuses may be missing the silent spread of the coronavirus.”

As in-person classes continue on campus, President Thomas S. Hibbs, Ph.D., BA '82 MA '83, spent time walking the UD Mall, gathering vital student feedback. He reported a joyful response to the initial success, “especially among the seniors — how much they hope we can keep this going.” 

“Our success so far has been heartwarming,” remarked members of the COVID-19 Preparedness Committee in a faculty email. “We are grateful to all who are doing their bit and patiently putting up with the unusual circumstances and regulations.”

Associate Professor of English Bernadette Waterman Ward, Ph.D., replied: 

“I want to affirm that the students are really being cooperative. Reminded not to eat or drink in class, students don't shoot me a resentful glare but look a little sheepish and pipe, ‘My bad — oops.’ They rush to scrub down the desks at the end of class. They're very kind to the discussants who are all online and work to include them by name in the conversation. I hope everybody else is finding a similar level of patience and helpfulness under the various inconveniences thus imposed upon us. We need to let the students know how much we appreciate their good humor about all this.”

Comprehensive testing of students residing off campus started this week. No positive tests were recorded after testing over 200 such students. Though already tested, continual testing of residential students will also be done throughout the semester as an additional precaution to allow for quicker detection and isolation of any cases that appear on campus. 

Executive Vice President John Plotts, Ed.D., and General Counsel Heather Lachenauer, who co-chaired the COVID Preparedness Committee, emphasized the need to continue to follow the personal safety protocols of social distancing, wearing masks and hand-washing.

“We’re grateful for everyone’s diligence so far, and we’re extremely blessed to have no current cases,” said Plotts. “But things can change quickly, so I urge everyone to keep up the good habits so we can all remain on campus through the end of the year.”