The monumental effort to scale up campus COVID-19 testing
Key facts and figures point to the scale of the Penn Cares testing program and how Project Quaker helped bring students back to campus this spring.
A major component of Penn’s efforts to bring students back to campus this spring has been the Penn Cares testing program. Using a saliva-based testing platform, Penn can conduct twice-weekly tests for all undergraduate students and those living on campus and weekly tests for graduate students, faculty, postdocs, and staff who are on campus for four or more hours each week.
Penn Today highlights key facts and figures about the Penn Cares testing program, and how Project Quaker helped bring students back to campus for the spring semester.
The total number of tests completed since Jan. 3. So far, more than 20,000 members of the Penn community have been tested since the program was launched earlier this year and more than 12,000 tests have been conducted on a weekly basis since the start of February.
Testing data are updated weekly on Penn’s COVID-19 dashboard, which also provides information on positivity rates, overall prevalence, and the numbers of students in quarantine or isolation.
The total gallons of saliva collected by Penn Cares for testing (for each test, participants collect 1 mL of saliva).
This easy, safe, and non-invasive approach to COVID-19 testing produces results that are just as accurate and sensitive as the nasal swab tests that were used on campus this fall.
The number of people tested during a single hour at the High Rise/Du Bois tent at Rodin Field last week.
The success of Penn’s testing sites is made possible thanks to staff who are using their expertise in event management and logistics, experience that is instrumental in the smooth operation of multiple large-scale testing sites.
The number of testing sites available across campus.
Six of these sites—High Rise/Dubois tent, Annenberg Center, Richards tent, Houston Hall, the Palestra, and Ace Adams tent—are reserved for COVID-19 screening tests. The site in Irvine auditorium is used for PennOpen Pass “red pass” testing.
Other supplies provided by EHRS to labs across campus include 600 thermometers, 346 face shields, and more than 800 buckets of disinfectant.
The number of staff from all areas of the University who were reassigned to support COVID-19 mitigation efforts and programs. This includes staff who became directly involved with Project Quaker as well as those who were re-trained to work as contact tracers.