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One of four COVID-19 testing PODs sits on campus near the Nicholson Gateway, Friday, August 21, 2020, on LSU's campus in Baton Rouge, La. The testing centers will allow for a rapid testing for students, faculty and staff exclusively.

Members of all LSU sororities and some fraternities must get tested for COVID-19 after the school found traces of the virus in the wastewater system serving their area of the campus.

The university sent members of 15 Greek chapters an email Thursday notifying them that they must be tested at one of the three on-campus testing sites within 48 hours. School spokesman Ernie Ballard said that students have until 11 a.m. Saturday, the first day of Greek recruitment, to meet the testing requirement.

“We are assessing the situation as it pertains to rush,” Ballard said. “We will factor in both wastewater results and the results of individual testing in our decision.”

The email stated that if students do not get tested, it may "impact your ability to remain on campus and participate in any in-person activities." All members of the notified chapters who were on campus in the last week are subject to the requirement. 

How will LSU enforce its COVID rules? Some students, faculty are skeptical

The school’s wastewater testing method successfully located outbreaks in the spring and summer semesters, allowing LSU to test and isolate affected students. Each week, LSU collects wastewater that is tested at a lab to reveal traces of COVID and estimate how many residents are infected and need to get tested.

Ballard said that the notice went out after “high traces” of coronavirus appeared in wastewater on campus.


Email Caroline Savoie at CSavoie@TheAdvocate.com or follow her on Twitter at @CarolineSavo.