Headline, September 14 2020/ ''' HOT LABS : CAMPUSES TOILETS '''

''' HOT LABS : 


CAMPUSES - AND THEIR TOILETS - BECOME LABS FOR PANDEMIC SAFETY : These schools have authority over relatively captive communities, made up of students largely at ease with new  technology.

THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS returning to the Rochester Institute of Technology are now facing the most novel effort at the school to measure and limit virus spread - that will require little effort and come quite naturally.

IN THE U.S. COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES were far ahead of local and state governments in adapting or experimenting with exposure-notification technology and other advanced tactics to fight the coronavirus.

All of them are trying different innovations, different ideas, home - brew solutions,'' he said

At more than 15 dormitories and on-campus apartment buildings at the university in Rochester, N.Y., sewage is being tested twice weekly for genetic evidence of virus shed in feces.

This provides a kind of early-warning system of an outbreak, limited the need to test every student for Covid-19. If the disease is found in sewage, individual tests can administered to identify the source.

''It's noninvasive,'' said Enid Cardinal, senior adviser to the president for strategic planning and sustainability at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

The school is among a half-dozen colleges in upstate New York adopting similar technology, which was first introduced by Syracuse University. At the university of Arizona, officials said such tests led to the discovery that several students in a dorm were infected. ''Wastewater,'' Ms. Cardinal quipped. ''My new favorite topic.''

The fall of 2020 will go down as a period of   profound experimentation at colleges and universities transformed into hothouse laboratories. They are trying out waste-water tests, dozens of health check apps and versions of homegrown contact technologies, that log student movement and exposure risk.

And they are experimenting with different testing methods that might yield faster results and be easier to administer, such as using saliva instead of nasal swabs.

Like small island nations with discrete populations, many universities are using methods that cities, states and nations often cannot. The colleges have some authority over relatively captive communities, which are made up of students largely at ease with new technology.

Plus the schools have profound motivation : Their very economic survival depends on people coming to campuses safely.

College officials are also hoping that students will be motivated to make it work. Executive risky behavior [partying, the inevitable let-your-mask-down moments] that leads to a rise in new cases might cause campuses to close, sending students home to their parents' basements and couches.

Dr. George Rutherford, an epidemiologist at the University of  California, San Francisco, who advises universities and other large institutions said schools would nevertheless be able to consider their experiments a success if they managed to keep their case prevalence below those of their surrounding communities.

Many other colleges are exploring related technology developed by the M.I.T. Media Lab, said  Ramesh Raskar, an associate professor at the lab.

''We've talked about 50 colleges and universities,'' Dr. Raskar said, adding that M.I.T. technology called  PathCheck is being pilot tested by at least three schools : Vassar College in New York State and two Texas universities, Southern Methodist and Texas Christian.

The schools argue that their efforts will potentially have a much broader impact. These trial and error experiments could seed technologies to help the rest of society cope with the pandemic.

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte is waiting for the delivery of technology that will automatically dip into sewage for samples at roughly that will automatically dip into sewage for samples at roughly 20 residence halls.

In the meantime, a campus research scientist is jury-rigging hand pumps to allow sewage checks from the pipes in the basement of each residence hall.

''He's one of those guys who can build cars in his own garage,'' said Cynthia Gibas, a professor of bioinformatics and genomics at the university, where she has participated in the school's reopening process.

''It is important we get in and get the samples,'' Dr. Gibbs said. ''It's not the some thing we do routinely. We're kind of building this for special occasion.''

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Pandemics, Tactics and lasting  Solutions, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Matt Richtel.

With respectful dedication to the Scientists, Students, Professors, and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011:

''' Schools- Colleges '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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