Springfield university’s strict COVID testing rules helped keep students in classroom

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The COVID-19 pandemic has lead to a lot of changes for how some people work.

Despite the challenges the pandemic brought, Drury University staff has stepped up to keep students safe while staying in the classroom.

The university said its intense COVID testing program has been the key to success. Athletic trainers like Erin Kineman stepped up to administer COVID-19 tests during the school year.

“We put it all together and it really was a team effort across campus to get it and we stepped up,” said Kineman.

Andrea Allision, the assistant athletic trainer, said they were up to the task since they are already used to medical work.

“It has been interesting,” said Allision. “It is definitely not a hat that any of us thought that we would ever put on and start doing testing of any sort of illnesses. But it has been an easy transition.”

COVID testing has been key in keeping Drury open to in-person learning since last August.

If we are able to test, we can get it done early and see who has the virus,” said Allision. “We can kind of get them away from everybody and are able to stay on campus with each other knowing they are not spreading it.”

Since the athletic department is running random tests once a week for 20% of the students, staff and faculty, NCAA guidelines require some athletes to come in more often.

Now, they have it down to a fine art. After a 15-minute test, students who get the hang of it can test themselves.

The team has administered 11,000 tests overall.

“I think we are all sitting here today with a little bit of a sense of relief and accomplishment,” said Mike Brothers, with Drury University. “Maybe with a sense of exhaustion because it has been a long year. I think there is overall a sense of pride.”

Some faculty and staff took part by working as contact tracers. The university said its thankful here hasn’t been a positive case in 12 weeks through its community testing program.

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