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RPI offering COVID testing at Emma Willard

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is partnering with the Emma Willard School to test its students, faculty, and staff at the boarding school for COVID. It's the first full-scale testing program launched by RPI at another institution. All students, faculty, and staff at Emma Willard will be tested once per week, with results available no more than 24 hours after arriving at the Rensselaer lab.

The new partnership is aimed at helping the Troy community prevent spread and fight ongoing pandemic. It streamlines a testing process already in place at Emma Willard, and shortens waiting times for results.

“The partnership has been extremely positive,” shares Emma Willard’s Director of Nursing Jennifer Bliss. “Our turnaround time for testing has been greatly reduced and having a local partner has alleviated the need for shipping samples to a testing facility.”

Emma Willard started weekly surveillance testing of day students and employees in the fall, but eyed improving and expanding its testing system as boarding students returned to campus in January. RPI, meanwhile, has been surveillance testing its faculty, staff, and students since August. The university says it has processed over 140,000 tests in its community.

In November, RPI teamed with St. Peter’s Health Partners to enable RPI tests to be used for public health reporting, extending the university's ability to offer testing elsewhere in the Capital District. Next, Emma Willard School reached out to collaborate.

“It is our duty, regardless of our campus boundaries, to work together to assist each other in improving the health and safety protocols for all members of our community,” said Curtis Powell—RPI's vice president for human resources—in part. “This partnership with Emma Willard is a win-win for Rensselaer and the broader Capital Region community.”

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