HELENA — Instead of an intranasal swab every week, COVID-19 testing for Carroll College athletes is now as simple as spitting into a cup.
Carroll College partnered with Shodair Children's Hospital for a saliva test that now only takes a couple of hours instead of maybe a few days to get results, but whether it was two minutes or two days, Fighting Saints senior Christine Denny said she’s happy to do whatever test is required to get out onto the court each week.
“I think my team as a whole, we just wanted to do whatever we had to do in order to play," said Denny. "If that entailed testing every week, that's what we were going to have to do.”
After each weekend of games, the Fighting Saints basketball teams take Monday off, test for COVID-19 on Tuesday, and have socially distant practices until the teams' results come back. While having tests come back quicker means more time to prepare, what’s most important for women's head coach Rachelle Sayers is that her team stays healthy.
“If we have to make an adjustment in how we prepare each week, then that's what we're going to do. The goal is for, obviously, the college to stay in session and for our kids to be able to continue to play,” said Sayers,
In an interview with MTN, Dr. John Cech, Carroll College's president, noted both Fighting Saints basketball teams have played the most amount of games of any Frontier Conference school this season, and he believes they’ve been able to do this because of the college’s strict safety protocols.
“I think that's a real testament to our safety protocols, testing protocols, and the fact that we are doing everything we can to create as normal of a collegiate experience as possible,“ said Cech.