Music and NPR News for Central and Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

University touts COVID early detection program as a success

A lab technician sorts blood samples for a COVID-19 vaccination study at the Research Centers of America in Hollywood, Fla., on Aug. 13.
Chandan Khanna
/
AFP via Getty Images
A lab technician sorts blood samples for a COVID-19 vaccination study at the Research Centers of America in Hollywood, Fla., on Aug. 13.

Michigan State University has ended a nearly two-year early detection program that screened for cases of COVID-19. Officials say they’re happy with the results.

MSU implemented a voluntary saliva-based COVID testing system in the summer of 2020. Participation in it was later mandated for anyone who’d not completed their vaccine regimen or who claimed a health or religious exemption.

Dr. Jack Lipton directed the program. His team ran more than 350-thousand samples and found tens of thousands of positive results. “We tested the program initially in community clinics that were helping us to test and perfect our process.  We were able to benefit the community outside of MSU (and) the larger MSU community.  So, I think overall it was a nightmare and a great program,” he said.

Lipton says high vaccination rates above 90 percent in the campus community prompted MSU to discontinue the program. He says other COVID surveillance measures like antigen testing and wastewater monitoring will continue.

Kevin Lavery has been news director at WKAR since September 2006.