Dear colleagues – we have received several messages expressing frustration because of the lack of WSU-based testing services for COVID-19. Specifically, if a staff or faculty member has a known COVID-19 exposure and needs testing (as recommended by the CDC and the WA DOH), the only option is through their provider or other hospital, clinic, or commercial service rather than through WSU. This frustration is compounded by the limited testing availability in the community.
We have been informed that WSU cannot legally serve employees as a diagnostic testing provider for either exposure or symptomatic cases. Cougar Health Services only offers testing to students, which is funded by student fees.
Unfortunately, there is an acute shortage of testing supplies nationwide and this is impacting Whitman County (I assume this is the case for other campuses as well). When I checked the Whitman County Public Health website today, there is a warning banner on the home page indicating, “Whitman County is currently experiencing severely limited COVID-19 testing options.”
I wish that we had better news, but it is what it is – be safe and thank you for all that you do.
Sincerely, Douglas Call