On September 19, 2022, the College transitioned to a new online interface for managing PCR test administration, provided by Color. The Broad Institute created this partnership and will continue to process our tests with an expected turnaround time of 24 hours.
Why we made the decision
- Early this summer the Broad informed us that they would be partnering with Color. Under the new arrangement, Color provides the test kits and the interface with our community; the Broad lab will continue to test the samples. Given our excellent experience with the Broad over the past two years as well as our experience with using Color for some of our pre-arrival testing programs, we believe this new arrangement will continue to serve our community well.
Why it is happening now
- We needed to make the transition before the end of September. We decided to maintain our ability to use the testing process that most of the community is familiar with in case the situation at the start of the semester warranted arrival testing and hoped that a few weeks into the semester would allow us to slowly bring people onboard rather than getting the entire community set up at once. This date was selected in the middle of the summer.
What might be challenging about the transition
- We understand that this transition to what is essentially "DIY PCR testing" may be a challenge for some members of our community at first. The Testing Center is prepared to provide support to people as they go through the new process.
- While we have made every effort to make every member of our community eligible for the new platform, we understand that it’s possible someone may have been inadvertently left off; we are not restricting access to those who are part of our community, so we will quickly add anyone in who may have been left out. Please email the Testing Center if you believe you have been left off in error.
- Unrelated to this change, because the Broad has seen such a reduced demand for testing, they will begin to scale back their lab hours. They are still guaranteeing results within 24 hours, but we may start to see results later in the day than we have been used to.
What are some benefits
- Anyone who wants to can pick up a test kit at the Testing Center to have on hand. Then - if they're home, in their room, in their office, etc - and decide they want to test, they can administer the test, register it online and then walk over and drop it off at the TC on their way to class etc. No appointment necessary. And when they drop one off, they're free to pick up another one to have on hand.
- We are continuing to provide PCR tests (and antigen tests) for free and pretty much without restriction, to all members of our community.
Is this decision tied to the decision to end surveillance testing?
- Not at all. We are prepared to resume surveillance testing if necessary.
Is there anything I can do to help facilitate the transition?
- Yes. Please take the initial steps to register and get set up in the Color system! It will be much easier to get people onboard—and to provide help to those who need it—now than in a situation when we might be testing at a much higher volume.