COVID-19 Updates

Unobserved COVID Testing FAQs

Why is the College changing its testing model?

This change from an observed model to an unobserved model will reduce the number of volunteers needed to operate the testing center. In addition, we will not need to pay health care providers to be on site or train members of our community to be observers. This will be a welcomed relief to the members of our community who run and volunteer in our testing facility while maintaining the quality and desired volume of our testing.

What if I forget how to test? Will someone be available to assist me?

While we will not staff each station individually, we will have volunteers floating among the testing stations to address any questions folks may have. In addition, instructions will be provided at each station to remind you of the process.

Is this test still processed through the Broad Institute?

Yes. The Broad Institute CRSP offers Observed and Unobserved Self-Swab Nasal Collections as individual diagnostic testing. Both methods of testing are processed by Broad through the same PCR and in vitro diagnostic procedures. The cost for these two testing methods is the same for the College.

Why didn’t the College administer the unobserved model when we began testing in August of 2020?

Unobserved tests were not initially available. They needed emergency use authorization by the FDA before Broad could provide them as a testing option.

Why is the College choosing to transition to this model now?

Now that all members of our community have experienced the testing process several times and are familiar with the routine, we believe we can move to this model with minimal disruption.