New Sentinel Testing Produces Zero Positive Covid-19 Cases

a student wiping down an aircraft
In addition to face coverings being mandatory for all students, faculty, staff and visitors at all times on Embry-Riddle’s campuses, aircraft are disinfected before and after every flight. (Photo: Embry-Riddle)

As Embry-Riddle continues to refine its safety culture and protocols, sentinel testing — which offers on-the-spot self-testing to students living in residence halls — was instituted last week as an additional testing measure. Using this method, zero positive cases of Covid-19 have so far been recorded.

No quarantine is necessary for sentinel testing as students await results, and this most current round of tests targeted those living in residence halls, and mostly freshmen, some of whom had been on campus for over 10 days. Sentinel testing stations will be set up in various locations across campus throughout the semester, with the goal of testing a cross-section of Embry-Riddle’s population.

Embry-Riddle extends sincere gratitude to every students who has so far volunteered for testing. Your participation is a testament not only to the university’s steadfast commitment to safety, but also to the caliber and quality of our Eagles. Thank you!

Full Testing Results

Since face-to-face summer classes began in late June, Embry-Riddle has conducted 2,577 Covid-19 tests, which allowed the university to confirm 41 cases across both residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Florida, and Prescott, Arizona. The majority of all cases – confirmed through Embry-Riddle’s testing as well as externally conducted tests – have recovered and were cleared to resume normal activities. Only 4 cases (three in Daytona Beach, 1 in Prescott) remain in isolation, under care.

There continues to be no evidence to date of any confirmed transmission of Covid-19 within the university itself. Off-campus transmission has been documented.

Apartment or residence hall parties remain a primary risk and should be avoided at all costs, Embry-Riddle emphasized.

Results from the first round of fall semester testing were as follows:

Daytona Beach Campus:

  • 2,035 individuals tested by Embry-Riddle since June 22
  • 33 individuals tested by Embry-Riddle – sentinel testing
  • 25 cases confirmed positive by Embry-Riddle
  • 10 other cases confirmed positive through external testing
  • 1 previously confirmed case

Total Cases Confirmed to Date: 36

Total Cases Recovered/Cleared to Resume Activities: 33

Total Cases Active/Under Isolation: 3

Prescott Campus:

  • 542 individuals tested by Embry-Riddle since June 22
  • 3 cases confirmed positive by Embry-Riddle
  • 3 other cases confirmed positive through external testing
  • 5 previously confirmed cases

Total Cases Confirmed to Date: 11

Total Cases Recovered/Cleared to Resume Activities: 10

Total Cases Active/Under Isolation: 1

Worldwide Campus:

  • 1 case confirmed positive through external testing
  • 3 previously confirmed cases

Total Cases Confirmed to Date: 4

Total Cases Recovered/Cleared to Resume Activities: 4

Total Cases Active/Under Isolation: 0

Only confirmed (not suspected) cases are reported. All confirmed cases are fully disclosed to the university community as well as all appropriate health authorities.

Continually Evolving Our Testing Strategy

In an effort to keep everyone as safe as possible, Embry-Riddle has further refined its multi-pronged Covid-19 testing strategy by using several different types of testing, including screening and contact tracing, sentinel testing, rapid testing and wastewater testing. Each approach leverages the experience of our medical professionals in determining who should be tested. Sentinel testing will begin at the Prescott Campus next week. Learn more about each strategy in last week’s testing update.

Enhancing Learning through Technology

Faculty have worked hard to prepare for face-to-face instruction this fall semester, while also maintaining all course materials on Canvas, which will allow for a seamless transition online, if one should become necessary. Voice amplification devices have also been made available for faculty, to reduce audible muffling from masks and/or face shields during instruction. Web cameras have been installed in all classrooms to support recording of classroom lectures.  

Additional technological upgrades instituted by Embry-Riddle since the start of the pandemic are listed as follows:

  • On both residential campuses, classes are being offered face-to-face, online, or in a hybrid or split format.
  • Specialized training from the Center for Teaching & Learning Excellence (CTLE) has readied professors for a wide variety of teaching modalities.
  • More than 300 professors, or over 75% of the Daytona Beach Campus faculty, have taken CTLE’s Pivotal Pedagogy course
  • The Prescott Campus CTLE designed an online training institute for faculty to design "flipped courses" that emphasize interactive learning in place of lengthy lectures. The flipped course uses both face-to-face and online teaching modalities.
  • A newly created Canvas template helps faculty design their flipped courses, identify and implement effective teaching strategies, improve student engagement and provide a strong instructor presence, even from a distance.
  • Before the start of the fall semester, Informational Technology loaned about 350 laptops to students and employees in need. 1,356 sessions were completed. And three new websites were launched: Keep TeachingKeep Learning and Keep Working.
  • ERNIE Central now offers virtual access to the Registrar, Student Financial Services, Financial Aid and EagleCard.
  • Career, wellness and spiritual services were also transitioned online.

Health Reminders

  • If you are sick, have been on a cruise, or if you have been in close contact with someone with Covid-19, do not come onto Embry-Riddle’s campuses.
  • In case of difficulty breathing or chest pain, call 911.
  • Please promptly report any concerning symptoms (i.e., fever, cough or congestion) to the health services or campus safety unit on your campus:

    Daytona Beach Health Services      386-226-7917

    Daytona Beach Campus Safety       386-226-SAFE (7233)

    Prescott Wellness Center                928-777-6653

    Prescott Campus Safety                   928-777-3333

All students are urged to download and use Embry-Riddle’s new EagleGuardian smartphone app. In an emergency, this app allows students to contact Campus Safety with the touch of a button. The app also has a locator feature that will help first responders reach students quickly.

Safety Requirements

  • Before entering campus, guests must be screened and receive a visitor armband from their respective campus’s visitor center. If after hours, armbands can be obtained at the Daytona Beach Campus Safety Communications Center in the Student Union, or by calling Prescott Campus Safety Dispatch, at 928-777-3333.
  • Everyone must have a wellness check every 24 hours before spending time at Embry-Riddle.
  • Face coverings are mandatory in all common areas, both indoors and outdoors.
  • Physical distancing (six feet apart) is also required at all times.
  • Wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face.
  • Get your flu shot as early as possible.
  • Those selected to undergo mandatory diagnostic Covid-19 testing must self-quarantine if they are instructed to do so. (Self-quarantine is generally not necessary for sentinel testing, as outlined above, but it is required for screening and contact testing as well as rapid testing.)

Please review our Covid-19 information page and Frequently Asked Questions.