Testing and contact tracing

Student and employee testing and contact tracing protocols

Residential cohort: Read the latest email from the College, sent on January 12, with important information about pre-arrival testing, ongoing COVID-19 testing throughout the Spring Semester, COVID-19 health and safety expectations, and more.

Regular and ongoing testing of students and employees for COVID-19 is one of the most important steps the College is taking to protect the health and safety of its students, faculty, staff, and greater community.

Student testing

All students invited to return to campus for the spring, including those approved to live off-campus and commuters, will be included in the testing protocol. The College will contract with a third-party vendor that will provide testing services for the entire testing process including registrations, swabbing, and notification of positive cases to the Health Center.

Students will be tested twice a week in the spring 2021 semester. Students are required to take a COVID-19 test at their assigned testing day and time, and students who need to change their testing day will need to coordinate with the Testing Center. The College will continue to use highly-reliable PCR tests.

Additional information about testing was sent to students on January 12. Review the email.

Employee testing

Upon the start of the spring semester, employees who come to campus regularly will be tested. Thereafter, a percentage of employees who spend time with students (such as Health Center employees and faculty who are teaching in person) will be tested on a weekly basis. Any employee who is named as a close contact to a positive case on campus will also have the opportunity to be tested. Contact tracing for employees will be managed through the Human Resources department.

Additional information about testing was sent to employees on December 18. Review the email.

Contact Tracing

If a community member tests positive for COVID-19, whether through Health Services or at the hospital or urgent care center, contact tracing will begin. The contact tracer (either an RN case manager from Student Health, or a public health contact tracing officer) will interview the individual who tested positive and identify all the on-campus community members that individual has been in close contact with over the time that they may have been exposed, infected, and become infectious.

A “close contact” is defined as anyone who has come within approximately six feet (two meters) of someone who has COVID-19 for more than 10 minutes. Close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a healthcare waiting area or room with someone who has COVID-19 or having direct contact with infectious fluids from a person who has COVID-19 (e.g., being coughed or sneezed on, sharing utensils, keyboard, writing instruments, etc).

The contact tracer will get in touch with these individuals immediately, notify them that they have been named as a “close contact” by an individual who tested positive, and refer them to their personal healthcare provider for assessment. The contact tracer will also instruct these “close contacts” to leave campus and quarantine at home for 14 days with medical monitoring.