February 20, 2021
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
Earlier this week, the Broad Institute, Trinity’s COVID-19 testing partner, began reporting a new result type called “inconclusive.” As of this morning, our COVID-19 dashboard’s detailed test results now include this new category of result, so we wanted to explain what it means and let you know how we’ll manage those cases going forward.
Until now, the lab has been reporting test results as: positive, negative, or invalid (in which a test either was not performed for a variety of reasons or failed to produce a valid result). The change from Broad adds a new type, inconclusive, which reflects the sensitivity and specificity of its newly upgraded test. The test now uses two viral probes to detect the virus, and going forward, Broad will report a positive test result only when both probes signal a detection. When just one of the two shows positive, the result will be deemed inconclusive.
When we receive an inconclusive result, we will retest that individual as soon as possible. We will consider such a result “potentially positive,” assess the individual’s circumstances, and instruct the person to quarantine until a retest confirms either a positive or negative result. Employees would be asked to quarantine at home; students who need to quarantine for this reason would not be housed with students who are in isolation with active cases of COVID-19. That is, we would not house any students with “inconclusive” results in spaces where students with active cases of the virus are in isolation. Students who receive inconclusive results would remain in such accommodations for a short period (likely 24-36 hours), until retest results are received. With confirmed test results, the students would either return to normal activity (if negative) or move to isolation space on campus (if positive).
The CoVerified software vendor is updating its system to accommodate this change in practice over the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, please visit the test results section of the app and open the PDF attachment to verify your specific result if you receive an “inconclusive” notification.
We appreciate your attention to this; it’s yet another example of the constantly changing nature of the pandemic and our need to be adaptable in responding to it.
Joe DiChristina, Vice President for Student Success and Enrollment Management
Jason Rojas, Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President for External Relations