Dear Faculty and Staff:
As we continue to manage the many challenges of COVID-19, the health and safety of our campus community remains our highest priority. In reviewing the various measures that are going to be critical for a safe return to our campus, testing has emerged as a foundational consideration. For that reason, we have recently engaged Contamination Source Identification, LLC (CSI®) to test 100% of our faculty and staff prior to the beginning of the fall semester. There will be no cost to you for this testing. Founded by Dr. Regina Lamendella, Valko Professor of Biological Sciences, Justin Wright ’14, and Gary Shope ’73, CSI® is a company conducting its business in Sill Business Incubator (SBI) and has revolutionized the way health professionals are diagnosing infectious diseases. Together, we have created a unique collaboration that will provide you with access to accurate COVID-19 testing, with an unmatched turnaround (less than 24 hours).
CSI® employs the FDA-recommended, TaqPath RT-QPCR COVID-19 test system. This test system has been validated on site by CSI® for both Oropharyngeal (OP) and Nasopharyngeal (NP) swabbing techniques. It is important to note that CSI® has been certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA Lab ID Number: 37318) to perform COVID-19 testing as of March 24, 2020. CSI® is compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and The Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) of 1988 (CLIA Number: 39D-2180522 ). As per guidance of Pennsylvania Department of Health, CSI® will report all COVID-19 test results, positive and negative, to the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System. As per CLIA regulations, all specimen-associated data will be retained in CSI®’s secured, L7-Informatics Enterprise Science Platform Laboratory Information Management System, which is deployed in a HIPAA-compliant secured environment.
This service is one of Juniata’s initial steps in safely preparing for the fall semester. We are also seeking testing opportunities for our students prior to their arrival on campus. Furthermore, by engaging both internal and external experts, we are in the process of developing systems that will help us detect and prevent a potential COVID-19 outbreak on our campus once the semester is underway (i.e. random or pool testing techniques).
Please know that we are committed to keeping you informed as we move these strategies into the implementation phase. The Office of Human Resources will share dates, times, locations, and testing protocols with all campus employees at a future date. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions regarding this testing at the next Town Hall on Wednesday, May 20.
Thank you for your continued good work and I look forward to seeing you on campus soon!
James A. Troha, Ph.D.