Move-in day for Neumann University includes a COVID test

TaRhonda Thomas Image
Friday, January 15, 2021
Move-in day for Neumann University includes a COVID test
Neumann University added a new layer to move-in day: COVID-19 tests.

ASTON, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Neumann University in Aston, Delaware County added a new layer to move-in day on Friday for students living on campus. Instead of going straight to the dorms, students had to stop first for a COVID-19 test.

The students pulled up to different lanes organized for them to do self-administered tests in their vehicles.

The tests were at no-cost to the students and they were scheduled in advance.

It's a necessary step for Neumann University to offer in-person learning in the spring semester.

"Any student who is living on campus must show a negative COVID test before they can arrive and live on campus," said Dr. Chris Domes, Neumann University's President.

But hundreds of students can't wait days for results. That's why the university partnered with FlowMetric Life Sciences, based in Doylestown, to bring in a mobile testing lab.

"We are the first CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) certified mobile testing lab here in Pennsylvania," said Renold Capocasale, FlowMetric Life Sciences' CEO/Founder.

The mobile lab lets students know their COVID-19 test results within an hour.

The mobile lab's original version was created in 2015 by Army veteran Robert Hilliard who, at the time, never could've imagined it being used on a college campus.

"No, not really," said Hilliard. "Basically the first concept was for military application."

The testing line for students ran as smooth as any military operation, but this isn't the last COVID criteria that students will have to meet.

"On our phones we have (the app) Health Check. They must check several things before they can enter a building," said Domes.

New COVID protocols called for spaced out living areas and a decreased number of on-campus residents, from 800 to 600 students. The university is also holding only about 55% of its regularly scheduled classes.

Students who live on campus and students who commute will all be subject to random COVID testing throughout the semester. It's all in an effort to create a safer return to campus.

"We're keeping our fingers crossed everyone will be safe and healthy," said Domes.