CORVALLIS, Ore. — UPDATE: Over the five-day move-in period in Corvallis, 2,089 students were tested and 28 were tested to be positive for COVID-19, a 1.35% positive rate, according to OSU spokesperson Steve Clark. Of those 28 students, 15 chose to isolate in the designated residence hall on campus and 13 chose to isolate at home, Clark said.
Original story below:
Beginning that next chapter in life is starting a little different this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Friday was the first day students were able to move into the dorms at Oregon State University but like everything else in 2020, move-in day looks different.
Move-in day would normally be a day-long event when every student was given the keys to their dorm room, instead this year, it's being held over 5 days.
The University expects around 2,500 students to move into the dorms during the week, but before they do students must take a COVID-19 test.
"OSU has a really comprehensive, multi-faceted prevention strategy for the fall through summer term. The foundation of our mitigation plan is to test, trace and isolate. This is the testing component of that," Jenny Haubenreiser, Oregon State University's associate vice provost for student affairs and executive director of student health services said.
Students administer the test themselves in front of an observer with the university's TRACE Project.
The tests are then analyzed and processed, while the students wait for the results. Haubenreiser says they expect to get back positive results.
"If the student tests positive they would have the opportunity to either go home if they're local or we have designated isolation space for students where they can go until they've recovered," Haubenreiser said, "It has meal delivery and all of the supports needed for a student that needs to isolate."
Freshman Evan Rudisile drove up from Medford himself to move in.
"It's a little different, I was expecting a drive-through test where they shove it up my nose, but doing it myself I guess it works well for them. They don't have to deal with me, completely social distance."
Taylor North is from San Diego, "I'm just glad because I know some go up really high, so I'm just glad this one wasn't that one. It already tickled being that low."
Results take about an hour or two and students are able to scan a unique QR code to find their results. Once they get their results, they are given the keys to their dorm room.
"I'm having a good time, we waited in the parking lot for like two hours just good to get ready to move in and head into OSU," Fresham Dalen Buckley-Noonan said.
He was moving into Finley Hall with the help of his parents. Approximately 95% of classes at Oregon State will be held online, all of Buckley-Noonan's will be online.
"It's interesting, it's new for everybody. So we get to be online, but at least I get to be in Corvallis and still have somewhat of a new college experience."
It's not the start of the college experience so many freshmen were expecting.
"I thought I was going to be able to just go out with some of my buds and we could just play some, but no just stay inside and stay safe," Buckley-Noonan said.
Haubenreiser says she hopes the test doesn't give students a false sense of security. One test doesn't protect you and not every test is perfect.
"The education to students or anybody who's being tested, act as if you may be infectious at any time."