Next round of student COVID-19 testing

Message sent August 20, 2020

Julie Ramsey, Vice President for College Life, informs students about the upcoming second round of COVID-19 tests.

Dear Students,

I hope that you are settling nicely into your classes this semester and have enjoyed connecting with friends, old and new. While these experiences are at the heart of the Gettysburg experience, we can’t lose sight that the COVID-19 virus is still a real threat to our individual and community health. We know that one of our best strategies to contain community spread is to conduct COVID-19 testing on a regular and on-going basis.

In that spirit, the College will conduct another round of baseline testing which will take place next week, Monday August 24th – Thursday, August 27th. We will re-test all students, except for the small number who have already been tested a second time and those who had COVID-19 this summer, before coming to Gettysburg.

This process will be very similar to the first test administered at move in; I hope you will agree that the process was efficient and not terribly time consuming. The good news is that this testing does NOT have to be followed by quarantine. The first quarantine was done out of uncertainty and an abundance of caution. Given the very low numbers of positive cases in the first round of testing and that all positive cases were isolated appropriately, we can move on to the next round without quarantine.

You will be assigned a time for testing next week and then return to your normal routines unless your test result comes back positive for COVID-19. As was true of the first test, all negative results will be communicated through the Medicat portal. If your test is positive, Health Services will be in contact with you regarding follow up. If that is the case, you will be asked to identify “close contacts,” –those with whom you have been in contact for more than 10 minutes and within 6 feet. In order to keep close contacts to a minimum, you need to maintain a distance of two arms lengths from others AND wear your mask according to the Health Agreement.

Tomorrow you will receive notification from the Residence Life office about your testing time and the location of the test. It is very important that you to show up for testing at your assigned time, which will take your academic schedule into account. Your testing time should not interfere with your academic schedule.

Like wearing a mask and physical distancing, regular testing is imperative to staying together this semester, and we ask that you to take this seriously for the health and well-being of our entire community. There will be future rounds of testing.

Just as we did in the first round of testing, we will update you as quickly as we can on the status of your test results. We expect these results to come back in 3-4 days.

There will be another campus update this Friday on the overall results of the testing completed this week.


Dean Ramsey

Julie L. Ramsey, ED.D.
Vice President for College Life
Gettysburg College