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Rapid tests allow students to return home with peace of mind

Covid testing with deSteiguer

At Oklahoma Christian University (OC), students are testing for final exams and for COVID-19. Chief Academic Officer Dr. Jeff McCormack worked with the Oklahoma State Health Department to secure rapid tests that allow every student to do a quick, simple nasal swab before gathering with family over the Thanksgiving holiday.

McCormack’s message for students to test to stop the spread was supported by Governor Kevin Stitt at last week’s press conference. McCormack is a highly skilled infectious disease specialist who heads up OC’s COVID-19 task force.

“Dr. Mc.Cormack’s experience and specialized training have been a tremendous resource for our campus during the pandemic. God knew that we would need a leader with Dr. McCormack’s abilities,” said President John deSteiguer. “His innovation and implementation of healthy practices have allowed our university to successfully offer in-person classes this semester.”

A simple nasal swab, rapid test is available to each student and employee this week, plus another test when everyone returns after a two month winter break. Testing appointments filled quickly after the announcement went out, and capacity was increased to meet the demand.

Test results are received within 30 minutes. Those who test positive will have instructions for isolating at home. Any students who cannot go home after a positive test will be cared for on campus.

The nasal swab test is less invasive than ongoing tests offered on campus. OC is a testing partner with Immy Labs and hosts free, drive thru Nasopharyngeal tests three days a week to anyone who signs up at Students have unlimited access to Immy tests as well.

The success of a healthy campus community followed best practices of hand washing, distancing and mask wearing set forth under a Love Your Neighbor mantra. Showing the same love and concern for friends and family upon leaving campus is highly valued as well.

McCormack took the projection of a fall covid spike very seriously and proactively implemented a school calendar that ends the fall semester the week before Thanksgiving. OC students are now taking finals before a two-month winter break.

The university is offering a robust schedule of short-term, online classes for students who want to fill some of their time between the two full terms that take place on campus.

Oklahoma Christian University is a higher learning community transforming lives for Christian faith, scholarship and service with a 14-to-1 student teacher ratio. The 200 acre campus houses a student body of 2,250, of whom 186 tested positive for COVID-19 sometime during the fall semester. Located at 2501 East Memorial Road, OC is home to ambitious progress.