Fall 2020 Plan and Information
COVID-19 Updates and Information

COVID Testing

Students, faculty and staff were required to be tested at the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester and again Sept. 21-23. Students who are taking their courses entirely online and will not come to campus as well as employees who will telework the entire semester are exempt. Surveillance testing is being conducted throughout the semester. Testing data is among the several key COVID-19 indicators the University is monitoring to determine the raising or lowering of our institutional recovery response levels. The University transitioned to fully online instruction on Nov. 12.

key indicators being monitored

TESTING DASHBOARD

Updated Nov. 17, 2020 – Validated results reported in the tables below include: universal testing, surveillance testing,  Brady Health Center testing of individuals showing symptoms, and verified results from other sources that are uploaded to the University's portal as noted.

Key indicators we continue to monitor:

  • Prevalence rate: Currently 13 cases. These are cases considered still contagious based on CDC guidelines. The prevalence of cases has been trending downward over the past week (down from 45 at this time last week).
  • Positivity rate: The rate reported by different schools and different agencies are calculated using different factors, over different amounts of time, and based on varying factors. If you read explanations on website reporting positivity rates, you will see this.
    • FSU-administered tests are shown in this first chart. (This means that FSU knows the outcome of every test taken, whether positive or negative). These are the rates that most other USM schools report and are what the Maryland Department of Health uses in its evaluation of campuses.
      • 7-day rate (11/8 to 11/14): 5.65% 
      • 14-day rate (11/1 to 11/14): 7.44% 

Results from Nov. 1–14, 2020

NEGATIVE TEST RESULTS POSITIVE TEST RESULTS TOTAL VALIDATED
TEST RESULTS
University-Administered 
Test Results

423

92.56%

34

7.44%

457

100.00%

Since the beginning of the semester, FSU has administered 9,740 COVID-19 tests, including two universal testing events, biweekly surveillance and cluster testing, weekly athletics testing and testing of symptomatic individuals at Brady Health.

COMBINED UNIVERSITY-ADMINISTERED AND SELF-REPORTED TEST RESULTS: This second chart is the aggregate testing result number for the two-week period and reflects the consistent measure we have reported biweekly throughout the semester. This number includes self-reported positive COVID-19 cases, which tend to include primarily positive tests, not negative ones, because of the difficulty in receiving documentation of negative tests. However, any positive test results we can confirm in our university community is valuable information that we are using to evaluate our status. This is the number we have reported since the beginning of the semester.

Results from Nov. 1–14, 2020

NEGATIVE TEST RESULTS POSITIVE TEST RESULTS TOTAL VALIDATED
TEST RESULTS
Combined University-Administered and Self-Reported Tests 
(including self-reported)

455

86.17%

73

13.83%

528

100.00%

Additional information: The combined testing data above includes 71 self-reported tests uploaded to the University portal: 39 positive results and 32 negative results. 

This will be the last Test Results Update for Fall 2020. The University currently remains at pandemic response Level 2.  

Other factors we monitor: 

  • Case clustering (whether contact tracing can identify a common factor among cases and the likelihood of spread outside those clusters): Contact tracing has confirmed that the majority of our cases are still in clusters of socially intertwined individuals.
  • Wastewater testing: Our campus wastewater sampling data is supporting testing trends.   
  • Isolation capacity and Brady Health Center capacity:  
    • We have 32 isolation/quarantine rooms at an off-campus hotel for on-campus students with documented positive cases or contact-tracing identified close contact. For most of the semester, we have used less than half of this capacity. 
    • Brady Health, an ambulatory health center, has two of its five exam rooms designated as dedicated isolation rooms for sick patients. It requires 30 minutes in between patients to disinfect those rooms per the guidelines. A significant increase in sick patient visits and requirements for consents to the off-campus hotel impacts the ability of Brady to maintain patient flow.  
  • Symptomology: The severity of symptoms among the majority of those testing positive is also being monitored. With a few exceptions, those being overseen by Brady Health have reported relatively minor symptoms thus far.
  • Mitigating risks: We also consider our ability to mitigate continued risks through implementing strategies such as sending disinfecting teams into areas of concern, increasing surveillance testing among cohorts, and closely monitoring correlations between wastewater samples as a predictive variable for positivity rates.

Move to online Instruction

Regarding the decision to go to all online instruction as of Thursday, Nov. 12:  Guidance from the University System of Maryland, Governor Hogan’s Office, and concerns about the rising number of cases and positivity rate in Allegany County overall were key to our Nov. 11 decision to complete the semester online. We kept the University System of Maryland and Allegany County Health Department informed of our actions. 

Exclusions from asymptomatic testing: The total number of tests listed above excludes students or employees who since initial testing indicated they were NOT and had no plans to be on campus; who opted to work/study remotely following the first round of universal testing and will not be on campus; who left the University following the first round of universal testing; who tested positive for COVID-19 during a designated period; who are employees of UMCES Appalachian Laboratory or students/employees at USMH; who were granted individual exemptions from testing for various reasons (approved leave, student teaching, unable to attend due to work schedule, etc.).   

Previous Updates 


Posted Nov. 3, 2020: In the interest of transparency, in response to requests, and to be consistent with other USM schools, moving forward, FSU will report the institutional data in two categories:

UNIVERSITY-ADMINISTERED TEST RESULTS: The University-administered testing information — this is the information many other USM schools report as their positivity rate, and it is the measurement used by the Maryland Department of Health in its campus evaluations. These include tests of asymptomatic individuals and those with symptoms who are tested at Brady Health.

AGGREGATE TEST RESULTS (INCLUDING SELF-REPORTED): This second number in each column is the aggregate testing result number for the two-week period and reflects the consistent measure we have reported biweekly throughout the semester. This number includes self-reported positive COVID-19 cases, which tend to include primarily positive tests, not negative ones, because of the difficulty in receiving documentation of negative tests from external testing entities. However, any positive test results we can confirm in our university community is valuable information that we are using to evaluate our status. This is the number we have reported since the beginning of the semester. Moving forward we will continue to provide uploaded self-reported testing data within our aggregate number each period.

Results from Oct. 18–31, 2020

NEGATIVE TEST RESULTS POSITIVE TEST RESULTS TOTAL VALIDATED
TEST RESULTS
University-Administered 
Test Results

553

93.73%

37

6.27%

590

100.00%

Aggregate
Test Results 
(including self-reported)

580

90.62%

60

9.38%

640

100.00%

Additional information:

  • The aggregate testing data above includes 50 self-reported tests uploaded to the University portal: 23 positive results and 27 negative results.
  • Since the beginning of the semester, FSU has administered more than 9,200 COVID-19 tests, including two universal testing events, biweekly surveillance and cluster testing, weekly athletics testing and testing of symptomatic individuals at Brady Health.
  • Another indicator being monitored is disease prevalence, or the number of active cases being monitored. Brady Health is currently monitoring 26 positive cases. Contact tracing has confirmed that the majority of our cases are in clusters of socially intertwined individuals and are not campus wide. Our positivity rate of FSU-administered tests for last week (3.48% for 7-day period) also supported that conclusion. In addition, our campus wastewater sampling data is supporting testing trends.

Exclusions from asymptomatic testing: The total number of tests listed above excludes students or employees who since initial testing indicated they were NOT and had no plans to be on campus; who opted to work/study remotely following the first round of universal testing and will not be on campus; who left the University following the first round of universal testing; who tested positive for COVID-19 during a designated period; who are employees of UMCES Appalachian Laboratory or students/employees at USMH; who were granted individual exemptions from testing for various reasons (approved leave, student teaching, unable to attend due to work schedule, etc.).

 


Results from Oct. 4–17, 2020

NEGATIVE TESTS POSITIVE TESTS TOTAL VALIDATED
TEST RESULTS
518 28 546
94.87% 5.13% 100.00%

These test results include 40 self-reported tests uploaded to the University portal--15 positive results and 25 negative results. 

Message from President Nowaczyk: This report of COVID-19 testing results shows that FSU has seen an increase in one of the measures we monitor, our positivity rate. This increase is not totally unexpected.

Last week we reminded our campus community to continue to upload test results to our campus portal. While many external testing entities only provide records of positive tests, not negative ones, any positive test results we can confirm in our university community is valuable information that we are using to evaluate our status.

Our positivity rate, as well as our rate in comparison to our local community, are two of multiple data points we are monitoring. While we continue to test below the county’s positivity rate, the increase in cases in our county and among the FSU community is a trend we are watching closely as we determine if responses or additional measures, such as the current ‘pause’ in athletic activity among some teams, are required.”

My message to campus is an especially important one: Please be more vigilant than ever in wearing masks — and wearing them properly — social distancing in all situations on and off campus, and washing your hands frequently. As we spend more time indoors because of the cooler weather, these actions are very important for your safety and that of the campus community. We will continue to take actions on campus to keep the campus as safe as possible.

 


Results from Sept. 24–Oct. 3, 2020

NEGATIVE TESTS POSITIVE TESTS TOTAL VALIDATED
TEST RESULTS
544 10 554
98.19% 1.81% 100.00%

The results above do not include the Universal Testing conducted Sept. 21-23 and reported on Sept. 29. Those results are repeated below.



Results from Universal Testing Sept. 21-23, 2020 (Reporting period 9/20-23)

NEGATIVE TESTS POSITIVE TESTS TOTAL VALIDATED
TEST RESULTS
3,282 18 3,300
99.45% 0.55% 100.00%

The total number of tests listed above excludes students or employees since initial testing indicated they were NOT and had no plans to be on campus; opted to work/study remotely following the first round of universal testing and will not be on campus; left the University following the first round of universal testing; tested positive for COVID-19 between July 1 and Sept. 21; are employees of UMCES Appalachian Laboratory or students/employees at USMH;were granted individual exemptions from testing for various reasons (approved leave, student teaching, unable to attend due to work schedule, etc.).



Results from Sept. 6–19, 2020

NEGATIVE TESTS POSITIVE TESTS TOTAL VALIDATED
TEST RESULTS
757 13 770
98.31% 1.69% 100.00%


Results from Aug. 23–Sept. 5, 2020

NEGATIVE TESTS POSITIVE TESTS TOTAL VALIDATED
TEST RESULTS
626 6 632
99.05% 0.95% 100.00%


Results from Aug. 3–22, 2020 – TOTALS FOR UNIVERSAL TESTING

NEGATIVE TESTS POSITIVE TESTS TOTAL VALIDATED
TEST RESULTS
3,801 23 3,824
99.40% 0.60% 100.00%

The data above includes initial results posted on Aug. 20: from Aug. 11-15, 2,673 students and employee were tested or reported the following validated results — 2,661 individuals, or 99.55%, tested negative and 12 individuals, or 0.45%, tested positive.

Important Notes:

INDIVIDUALS WITH POSITIVE RESULTS: All individuals with positive tests are immediately called by a healthcare professional and contract tracing by the Allegany Health Department begins. They are required to isolate away from campus. Those who reported positive results before the semester began were told not to come to campus until cleared to do so by a healthcare professional. Read detailed information about Return to Class and Return to Work guidance.

INDIVIDUALS NOT TESTED: Students in online-only programs, employees who will continue to work remotely and will not visit campus and students who moved to online-only classes for just this semester and will not visit campus will not be tested.

IDENTIFICATION: To protect individuals’ private health information, FSU will not identify anyone diagnosed with COVID-19.

FURTHER TESTING: Throughout the semester, the University will conduct surveillance testing (see section below) of non-symptomatic individuals. Officials will closely monitor these results to determine possible further action.

MONITORING: Additionally, all FSU students, faculty and staff participate in daily self-symptom monitoring by visiting https://www.frostburg.edu/checkin. Visitors to campus are required to attest that they are free of COVID-19 symptoms.

Additional Resources 

 


Surveillance Testing

COVID testing swab and container

To guide our decisions for a safer campus, we will be conducting surveillance testing throughout the semester. It is one of the risk indicators we are tracking to guide our decision-making.

Expectations regarding testing and your participation can be found in the USM/FSU directive at  https://www.frostburg.edu/about-frostburg/office-of-the-president/USM-Expectations-on-COVID-19-Testing-Information-for-Students-and-Employees-7-30-20.pdf. Students, faculty and staff are all part of the stratified random sample in order to provide a cross section of our campus community. Participation is required. This is in addition to the separate testing of our student-athletes, as per NCAA guidelines. Your cooperation is anticipated to ensure the safety of the entire community.

If you are selected for this testing, you will receive an email from FSU COVID Testing (info@baseline.mail.campuslabs.com).

You will be contacted if you have a positive result. Negative results will posted in the check-in portal under test results. 

Email COVIDtesting@frostburg.edu with any questions.

 


Do your part

The safety of our community depends on simple day-to-day actions to reduce transmission. Our safe return to campus relies on everyone doing their part.

red circle white mask icon
Wear a Mask

You can carry the virus even if you feel healthy. Wear a mask to protect others and they'll wear a mask to protect you.

red circle white handwashing icon
Wash Your Hands

When possible, wash hands for at least 20 seconds. If washing isn't possible, used hand-sanitizer.

red circle white doorknob with germs icon
Sanitize Surfaces

Clean and disinfect high-contact surfaces such as door knobs and light switches.

red circle white sick person icon
Monitor Your Symptoms

Know the symptoms and monitor your health. If you feel sick, stay home.

 

 

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