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Plymouth State University Experiences Delays In Pre-Arrival Testing Results For Students

Via Plymouth State web site

Plymouth State University students are required to get tested for COVID-19 and provide a negative test result before returning to campus. But the university says there are delays in getting those results.

The delay has affected several hundred students' planned move-in to campus. Instead of a staggered return with each student assigned a specific day and time, PSU is now allowing students to move in whenever they get that negative test result through Sunday.

Related story: How New Hampshire Colleges Are Preparing for Reopening This Fall

If a student doesn’t get that test result by Sunday, then they are being asked not to travel to campus until they do.

“It was not at all what we had planned or had hoped for,” said Marlin Collingwood, Plymouth State's vice president for communications, enrollment and student life.

He says Quest has been delayed because of a high volume of tests. But as of Friday, Collingwood says they’re getting results more quickly.

“We’re receiving the test results, several hundred of them every few hours,” he said. “We’re beginning to be more confident we’ll have those results in time for students to complete their move-in process by Sunday.”

The University System of New Hampshire has commitments from Quest that results will be turned around in three to five days. 

“If they want to continue having the business of, I think, the university system, they’re going to have to work on their delivery process, and I’m pretty confident they’re going to do that,” he said.

About a handful of students were allowed by President Donald Birx to quarantine overnight in residence halls despite not having their results yet. In an email to faculty and staff, Birx said that within 24 hours PSU obtained hotel space and moved those students there, until they obtain a negative test result.

Collingwood says he estimates about 20 percent of the student body will likely not have a result by the time class starts on Monday, Aug. 24, and they’ll have to take classes remotely for the first week of class.

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