In the spring of 2020, Boston University announced plans to launch a COVID-19 testing program in the fall of 2020 for the BU community; a critical step—along with contact tracing, social distancing, hygiene, and isolation and treatment for those infected—in a multi-pronged approach to repopulating its residential campus. In the summer of 2020, testing collection sites were installed at four locations on the Charles River Campus and on one location on the Medical Campus.

The University implemented an in-house COVID-19 testing laboratory for students, faculty, and staff. While bringing a testing program in-house was an enormous undertaking, the University was able to test and monitor the BU community faster as a result. The tests have been processed through a laboratory established at the Rajen Kilachand Center for Integrated Life Sciences & Engineering, on the Charles River Campus. Newly purchased specialized robots have been used to help speed up the test result process, and results of the tests have been delivered to people electronically. Catherine Klapperich, a College of Engineering professor of biomedical engineering and director of the BU Precision Diagnostics Center, has been leading the testing program. The BU Clinical Testing Laboratory has been overseen by certified clinical lab professionals and works closely with Healthway and the Occupational Health Center. The facility can process over 5,000 tests per day for the BU community, and results are delivered confidentially by the next day.

Project Team

Project Management: Colleen McGinty (Symptomatic COVID-19 Test Collection Sites & BU Clinical Testing Laboratory), EJ Winslow (Asymptomatic COVID-19 Test Collection Sites)
Contractor: Chapman Construction (Symptomatic COVID-19 Test Collection Sites & BU Clinical Testing Laboratory), RHC General Contracting (Asymptomatic COVID-19 Test Collection Sites)