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Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Affinity Empowering Enrolls Southern University at New Orleans, First HBCU, for No-Cost COVID-19 Tests Through Operation Expanded Testing

September 27, 2021 GMT
(PRNewsfoto/Affinity Empowering, Inc.)
(PRNewsfoto/Affinity Empowering, Inc.)
(PRNewsfoto/Affinity Empowering, Inc.)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. and NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Affinity Empowering, Inc., a leading provider of the most sophisticated and secure occupational, behavioral, and direct-to-consumer health services, today announced that Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) has enrolled in Operation Expanded Testing (OET), marking the first enrollment of a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) and the first such enrollment in the state of Louisiana.

SUNO is offering ongoing COVID-19 testing for students, faculty, and staff after requiring unvaccinated persons to prove a negative test before returning to campus following Hurricane Ida. In addition, SUNO will offer COVID-19 testing to the community at large on Wednesday, September 29. SUNO is the only public HBCU in New Orleans, La., and a member of the Southern University System.

“Testing for COVID-19 is such an important way to keep our community safe. By collecting data on positivity rates, we can determine how to react to the ever-changing nature of the pandemic most appropriately,” said Dr. James H. Ammons, Executive Vice President-Chancellor of SUNO. “We welcome the entire student body, faculty, staff, and community at large to take advantage of the free COVID-19 testing provided to us, thanks to Affinity Empowering and Operation Expanded Testing.”

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“With COVID-19 case numbers on the rise, we wanted to make sure that we were doing everything in our power to keep everyone safe. Regular testing is such a valuable tool in the fight against COVID-19,” said Sheryl Crosby, University Nurse at SUNO. “Affinity Empowering has been here on campus with us, making sure that all of our testing runs smoothly.”

“We commend SUNO for enrolling into Operation Expanded Testing and setting an example for COVID-19 safety for all HBCUs and the state of Louisiana. Surveillance COVID-19 testing, especially tests conducted with the gold standard PCR method of detection, is such an important measure to help reduce outbreak risk and to maintain peace of mind in the community,” said Anne Haslerud, Vice President of Recruitment and Enrollment at Affinity Empowering. “Testing through OET is convenient, highly accurate, has a short turnaround time for results, and is a more comfortable experience than other COVID-19 tests – all great reasons for an organization to enroll.”

Media Invitation

On Wednesday, September 29 between 9AM – 3PM, SUNO will be offering COVID-19 testing through OET, the federal COVID-19 testing program, on campus. SUNO will also be hosting a vaccination event during that time; testing and vaccines will be available to all students, faculty, and staff, as well as to members of the community.

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Media are invited to cover SUNO’s vaccination and testing event, as it is the first HBCU and first Louisiana organization to enroll in OET. All interested media parties should first contact Regine Williams, MBA, Director of Communications and Public Relations at SUNO, via email at FWilliams@suno.edu, for clearance prior to visiting the campus.

Advantages of Operation Expanded Testing

Affinity Empowering offers the OET program on behalf of Eurofins Clinical. Affinity and Eurofins use PCR testing, the gold standard for accurate detection of COVID-19. The PCR test used in OET has 100% sensitivity and specificity, meaning that there are no false positives or false negatives. It also has the lowest limit of detection for any authorized COVID-19 test, enabling detection of COVID-19 at its earliest stages when viral load is low.

While testing, individuals submit two samples - collected from the tip of the nose for minimal invasiveness. One sample from each individual is pooled together to expedite sample analysis. If a pool shows a positive result, the individual secondary samples from that pool are immediately analyzed. This scheme avoids the need for sample recollection and lowers the overall turnaround time for results. Through its proprietary Assure integrated technology platform, Affinity delivers COVID-19 test results with an average turnaround time of 24 hours.

About Operation Expanded Testing

Operation Expanded Testing (OET) is a federally funded program to provide no-cost, “click and go” COVID-19 surveillance testing to congregate settings, including K-12 schools, Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs), correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and select, nonprofit community centers through July 2022. COVID-19 surveillance testing is recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the safe reopening of schools.

Affinity and Eurofins are coordinating OET program implementation to these institutions in 26 Northeastern and Southern states and additional territories, in agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in coordination with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).

Unlike other federal programs to fund COVID-19 testing, OET has no upfront costs nor paperwork. Interested eligible parties can simply visit Affinity’s OET website and click the “Enroll Today” button and provide some basic information. Affinity will then provide the resources and training necessary to establish a COVID-19 testing program at your institution. For questions or additional information, visit the website or contact Affinity’s 24/7 customer service staff directly (email: OperationExpandedTesting@AffinityEmpowering.com, phone: 1-844-631-0469).

About Affinity Empowering

Affinity Empowering is a leading occupational health, population, and disease management life sciences organization that specializes in providing technology-based solutions and support for overall health and wellness endeavors. In addition to providing occupational health, mental health, and cutting edge, wrap around substance use support, the company also has become a major provider of COVID-19 testing. Its Return to Normalcy program provides COVID-19 consultation, support, and conducts thousands of onsite and at home testing options to safely screen, monitor, and test populations. It currently supports numerous business partners in various fields, ranging from government contracts, universities, top Fortune 100 companies, and major film and television production companies.

For more information, please visit https://www.affinitytesting.com

Media Contacts

Regine Williams
SUNO
(504) 286-5344
FWilliams@suno.edu

David Melamed
Russo Partners, LLC
(212) 845-4225
David.Melamed@russopartnersllc.com

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SOURCE Affinity Empowering, Inc.