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Partnering for Health: Color and Broad Institute’s New Partnership for Higher Education Institutions


Color Broad Announcement Blog

Color is delighted to partner with Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard to update testing programs for the changing “endemic” state of COVID. As priorities shift for colleges and universities, Color’s design principles are built around some fundamental challenges that program administrators are seeking to address for this phase of the pandemic:

  • How to reduce the program staffing load and arm individuals with the ability to self-manage
  • How to keep programs financially sustainable in year 3, reducing costs in a considered way
  • How to maintain participation in health and safety programs in a way that blends into the fabric of campus life

At the beginning of the pandemic, Broad Institute partnered with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and public health agencies to serve unmet needs by transforming its diagnostic facility into a massive COVID test-processing powerhouse. The facility provides gold-standard PCR testing and a reliable turnaround time of less than 24 hours, at far lower costs than are generally available elsewhere. In the fall of 2020, Broad Institute launched direct testing partnerships with more than 130 public and private colleges and universities in Massachusetts and the surrounding region to provide these academic institutions with regular, rapid, high-quality testing to bring students back to campus more safely. Now, Broad has turned to Color as a key partner to help move the higher education testing program forward for the fall of 2022 and beyond.

Broad and Color have worked closely together for many years, spanning work with the National Institute of Health, genomics work, to COVID-19 response. In Massachusetts, we’ve been working together on the state’s congregate care testing program, supporting over 2,000 sites. Collectively, Broad and Color have processed over 55 million COVID-19 tests for hundreds of organizations over the last two years.

As part of an expanded partnership with Broad, Color is offering additional program capabilities to the 130+ universities currently using Broad’s higher education testing program as well as more than 500 other universities in the eastern U.S. Program enhancements and additional capabilities include:

  • Pre-arrival and “test anywhere” capabilities through unmonitored, self-activated PCR tests
  • Self-guided software that includes automated communications and reminders
  • Timely access to results via text and a secure portal 
  • Lower overhead costs with minimal campus space
  • Ability to scale up and down to meet testing demands
  • Improved administration and reporting tools through Color’s integrated software platform
  • Access to additional services including vaccination status reporting

“We’re hearing the need for a sustainable, versatile system, one that minimizes the demands on staff, reduces time and space required for testing, and allows them to adapt to the changing needs on campus,” stated Heather Rooke, Director, Covid Program Alliances at Broad Institute.” We’re really excited to provide a solution that we think meets these exact needs.”

To learn about Color’s COVID-19 testing services for higher education, visit

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