Nampa's NNU Campus Tests For COVID-19 With Saliva

Sep 14, 2020

Since opening its campus for school August 31, Northwest Nazarene University has discovered five cases of COVID-19.

Faculty walking at Northwest Nazarene University, undated.
Credit NNU Facebook page

The private religious school in Nampa said Saturday it has tested about 1,400 members of its campus community already, using saliva testing. Community members — students, staff and faculty, are assigned into groups. They submit saliva samples and the groups are tested as a single test, called pools. The university uses its own labs on campus to process the tests. If a pooled test is positive, university staff contacts group members for additional screening.

“This new, more accessible, more affordable surveillance screening allows NNU to add another layer of protection [for NNU],” said Byron Hemphill, Director of Health Services for the school. “It helps us to proactively monitor and assess the on-going health of our campus community and provides for early identification of potential infection so that those impacted can be cared for quickly and possible spread can be mitigated early.”

NNU has about 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students, and several hundred staff and faculty. Its announcement of the program said testing is continuing to expand and all members of its campus community will be able to be screened for COVID-19 regularly.

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