Are you receiving your test results later than you would like?

The testing process for Keene State is run by three different groups: Stewart Ambulance, Quest Diagnostics and the Keene State College Rapid Response team. The Stewart Ambulance runs all the people in gowns and PPE that are set up in the Spaulding Gymnasium on Thursdays and Fridays. All the tests that are taken are then given to Quest and their laboratories run the results for Keene State College. As soon as a positive test result comes through they get sent to the college’s Rapid Response Team where someone will reach out immediately to the individuals.

The Rapid Response Team is made up of faculty and staff members at Keene State. They worked closely with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services because the state does contact tracing.

Kirk Sanger, an assistant professor in the nursing program, is also the coordinator of the Rapid Response Team on campus. “I think our longest response time is two hours from the result that comes in,” Sanger explained. “The state department, whether NH or other states, are normally 24 to 48 hours after a positive case.”

Sanger said he thinks we’re learning as we go. The Rapid Response Team implemented a lot of practices at the beginning based on other methodologies that were used. “I have worked with a group called Partners in Health in Massachusetts, so we built off of that and again, we keep learning each week about what we need to do to respond and react pretty quickly.”

Director of Strategic Communications and Community Relations at Keene State Kelly Ricaurte said testing is going extremely well. Ninety-nine percent of on campus students, 95 percent of off campus students and 95 percent of faculty and staff are showing up for testing, according to Ricaurte. If an employee misses testing the Human Resources Department follows up and finds out why they weren’t there. For students, the Dean of Students Gail Zimmerman reaches out to students. “How important it is to show up every week, because the majority of the positive results that we’ve had have been from people who had no symptoms and that didn’t even know they had the virus,” Ricaurte said.

Sanger said there was only one positive case so far from last week that came out on Monday, October 26. They were tested on Monday, but then resulted in a positive case. “Typically I think it’s within a couple hours of receiving the test result that people are moved to an isolation space,” he said KSC was expecting the response time from Quest to be two to four days and that is what we have been receiving, Sanger said.

Ricaurte said 48 to 72 hours are what Quest committed to use from the beginning of the contract that KSC started in the fall. She also said result times vary for different people and that’s something Keene State is talking with Quest about for the spring to make sure we have fast results.

From the last date of exposure to a positive test, the person goes into a 14-day quarantine. Within this timeframe there is no testing. If you are in quarantine on KSC campus, day five or six of the quarantine, that person will get tested to see if they should move to the other facility for isolation. Sanger said “There are two different facilities; one for quarantine students and one for isolation students.” Having a negative test result within those 14 days won’t relive a quarantine student, they must stay quarantined the entire time for precautions.

“Even though we’re nearing the end of our time together on campus for the fall semester, things can change on a dime really quickly and we have to be vigilant we have to show up for testing all of us we have to wear our masks keep are gatherings small because it can change in a day or two everything because the vires just spreads that fast,” Ricaurte said.


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