UC San Diego's pilot program "Return to Learn" has tested more than 1,500 students over the last three weeks and not a single student tested positive for COVID-19, the school said Monday.
The school's initial batch of students was the first step on its way to testing roughly 5,000 students who stayed on campus, according to UCSD officials. Since March, the university that usually has more than 30,000 students roaming the campus has been virtual because of the pandemic.
Many students who lived on campus have returned to their homes for virtual classes. The university previously said over 5,000 remained in campus housing.
Jamie Park was one of the remaining on-campus students who submitted a test.
“You scan a QR code and then it registers your testing kit and within 24 hours they tell you your results,” said Park.
UCSD officials said the numbers helped them figure out how to efficiently mass test, communicate with the community, and realize self-testing is possible.
As for the future, the school said it learned, on average, the entire sampling process took seven minutes from start to finish.
UCSD hopes to expand the program to a greater number of students, faculty and staff on a recurring basis -- especially as students possibly return to housing and classes for the fall term.
After the University of California Board of Regents meeting, President Janet Napolitano said, "Let me be very clear that every campus will be open and offering instruction so that all UC students can continue to make progress toward earning their degree."
“The question will be: ‘How much of that instruction will be in-person versus how much is done remotely?’” she added about the fall term.
Each campus will need to meet certain criteria before ramping up campus operations, she said. The standards include a testing plan, a contact tracing plan, and a quarantine and isolation plan.