The Daily Gamecock

University addresses saliva testing rumors after testing cancellations

After the cancelation of saliva testing on Davis Field for the rest of this week, President Bob Caslen sent an email to students to “respond to rumors circulating on social media about our testing protocol.”

In the statement, Caslen said the saliva testing lab had to shut down “due to a key lab staffer becoming ill” and that the lab could not continue to operate without this person. The university is “currently certifying staff to resume saliva testing as soon as we can.”

Caslen did not say if the staffer has COVID-19.

On social media, students, faculty and alumni showed concern about the cancellation of testing in relation to Caslen’s remarks at Wednesday’s town hall.

“I believe in transparency. If I don't test, I don't have any positives. If I don't have any positives, you don't make the news. And, you know, no one really pays attention,” Caslen said at the town hall. “We still want to find each and every positive, we want to take care of them, we want to put them back into the classroom, and then we're going to be okay.”

Fourth-year students Lauryn Workman and Brandon Easler took to Twitter to express their thoughts.

Some alumni and faculty shared in the students’ worries.

While The Daily Gamecock was looking into these concerns, Caslen’s statement addressing the rumors was sent to students.

In the email, Caslen said the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and Nephron Pharmaceuticals are providing extra staffers and other support to the university. 

“Nephron conducted 126 faculty and 98 student nasal swab tests today and we hope to increase their capacity throughout the next few days,” Caslen said.

Saliva testing on Davis Field has been canceled for Thursday and Friday and is scheduled to resume Tuesday, according to university spokesperson Jeff Stensland

“We feel certain we will have [the lab] ready for student testing after the long weekend,” Caslen said.


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