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Testing starts early at CMU 

Safe Together, Strong Together gains strength as students test for return

University students don't usually have to prepare for tests until well after the semester begins. This year, all students will have completed their first college test before the semester starts.

"Luckily, there is no studying required for this test," said Safe Together, Strong Together Co-Chair Amy Bronson, EdD. "Incoming Mavericks simply must complete a short nasal swab to ensure they do not have COVID-19 before rejoining the Mavily on campus."

After months of planning with medical and health officials, CMU determined that due to increasing cases throughout the nation, and a sustained global pandemic, no students or personnel will be allowed on campus this fall until they have completed a virus test.

To assist with helping students, faculty and staff complete this requirement, parking lots usually filled with vehicles are now filled with tents, cones, computers and student volunteers. CMU nursing students, campus faculty and administrative staff not only set up a drive-through and walk-through testing site, but are also working together operating the new facility that opened for service on Monday, July 27.

The Safe Together, Strong Together virus testing site is located in the center of campus and is a culmination of more than three months of planning, learning and operationalizing CMU's return to campus plan.

"President Foster was clear that CMU's management was to be the first to complete their virus testing," said CMU Vice President and COVID-19 Task Force Co-Chair John Marshall. "Mitigating impacts of COVID-19 and slowing it's spread will require leadership and cooperation from everyone on campus. That leadership was on display as our campus management team opened up testing leading by example."

Colorado Mesa University nursing students were also on hand for the opening and are helping operate the testing center. In addition to their efforts at the testing site, nursing students opted to graduate early in the spring of 2020 to support the community and join the front-line response to the global pandemic.

"While I never could have anticipated what we've experienced as a program over the last few months, I could never have imagined being more proud of students than I am this year," said CMU Nursing Professor Lucy Graham. "Supporting our students and helping them transition into service has also helped me connect at a foundational level with what teaching and nursing is all about."

As of July 31, the testing center had completed more than 1,800 tests and when combined with home test kits and locations in the greater Denver area, 2,049 tests have been completed. Students, faculty and staff who have not yet scheduled their COVID-19 test must do so before returning to campus.

Those needing assistance with scheduling their test, or have questions about the Safe Together, Strong Together campus plan, should visit the initiative web page.

After completing baseline tests, CMU will continue to focus on its contact tracing efforts which are highlighted in the video below.

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Written by David Ludlam