Protecting a Campus: UNL COVID Testing
2022 Nebraska Broadcasters Association Pinnacle Awards Best Student Radio News Feature: “Protecting a Campus: UNL COVID Testing” Emma Krab, senior advertising and public relations and English double major; from Ogallala, NE.
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[00:00:00.210]It takes a village to raise a child.
[00:00:03.060]If that's true, what does it take
[00:00:05.040]to raise up the safety of a university?
[00:00:07.740]This spring semester, this was the question answered
[00:00:10.740]by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
[00:00:13.680]You're gonna insert the straw
[00:00:14.850]inside of your bottle here to get your sample.
[00:00:17.010]On January 11th, the university announced
[00:00:19.650]required COVID-19 saliva testing before the semester began.
[00:00:23.880]Duan Loy had eight weeks to prepare her lab.
[00:00:27.120]It's a lot of sleepless night.
[00:00:29.940]As the microbiology diagnostics lab manager,
[00:00:33.090]Loy's lab tested about 150 samples a week.
[00:00:36.750]Now the university expected 20,000.
[00:00:40.470]That's an increase of nearly 13000%.
[00:00:43.590]Think about it.
[00:00:44.423]When you woke up at 4:00 AM, you think about it.
[00:00:46.740]How this gonna work?
[00:00:48.150]Pre-med freshman Libby Bash also noticed the time crunch.
[00:00:52.050]They didn't even have the IT set up.
[00:00:53.820]Bash became one of the many students
[00:00:55.920]brought into the lab to help coordinate reentry testing.
[00:00:58.950]Like, the IT system set up for us
[00:01:01.020]at least to like scan in the samples
[00:01:03.450]until like a week before we actually got real samples.
[00:01:06.120]Loy faced staffing issues and equipment problems.
[00:01:09.540]The problem is not just like,
[00:01:10.890]okay, I want to use 50 mil to what other university using.
[00:01:15.510]As the time came closer,
[00:01:17.130]she found herself battling other universities
[00:01:19.620]as companies ran out of products.
[00:01:22.350]The problem is not just that because of...
[00:01:26.070]They don't even have to sell to you.
[00:01:29.040]So basically you gotta use that straw...
[00:01:32.400]Over a month later, students still line up
[00:01:34.920]at saliva collection sites throughout campus.
[00:01:37.920]Spring reentry testing is over,
[00:01:39.990]replaced with smaller rounds of random testing.
[00:01:42.750]And Loy uses the extra time for well deserved shut eye.
[00:01:46.590]This is the first week
[00:01:47.580]that I feel like I can sleep better.
[00:01:49.740]Bash says she is also thankful
[00:01:52.050]for a little more crucial free time.
[00:01:54.330]Honestly, it works with my schedule
[00:01:56.040]'cause I'm kind of busy like all the time
[00:01:58.560]and I'm involved in a lot of things.
[00:02:00.210]This whole job has been like a dream.
[00:02:02.610]Over the spring reentry period,
[00:02:04.410]Loy's team constantly clocked 12 hour workdays.
[00:02:07.710]They tested more than 70,000 samples,
[00:02:10.650]including some from Grant Klein.
[00:02:13.020]I think it was smart that we had three rounds of testing.
[00:02:16.140]Klein, a freshman, praised the university's ability
[00:02:19.380]to protect students without being too invasive.
[00:02:21.983]I think UN has done a pretty exceptional job.
[00:02:24.450]For a child, a village.
[00:02:26.610]For the safety of a university, thousands of tests,
[00:02:29.970]a diverse team, and a common purpose to push through.
[00:02:33.660]That's what it takes.
[00:02:35.760]From KRNU, I'm Emma Krab reporting.
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