COVID-19 testing update

Message sent on August 28, 2020

Dean Ramsey informed students of new positive cases (6), gathering limitations (4 at a time), the testing plan for September, and what happens if you miss your required test.

Dear Students:

I am writing to update you on the testing protocols for next week related to COVID-19. You have no doubt heard that we do have six positive cases on campus from the testing done Monday-Wednesday. All of the week’s results will be back by Sunday and we will produce a complete update at that time. The reality of positive cases underscores the need to significantly ramp up our commitment to wearing masks and maintaining six foot distance from others at all times. Spend more time outdoors, limit all social gatherings to no more than three others, and maintain distance of two arm’s length.

Testing continues to be an important part of our strategy and we are moving into “surveillance testing.” The extent of our testing will be re-evaluated continually and adjusted as needed. For the month of September, we will conduct approximately 800–900 surveillance tests per week. This is likely to be a combination of random testing and a focus on segments of the population where students have already tested positive. For example, if there is a student who tests positive from a college house or fraternity where there is a great deal of shared common space, we are likely to focus some additional testing on that residence as a follow up.

Students will be notified by Residence Life of their testing time in advance of each week. The testing times will not conflict with your class schedules. Students who are tested as part of the ongoing surveillance testing will not be required to quarantine. If you miss your testing time, you must make it up immediately or we will temporarily suspend your access to the College’s network, your card access, and meal plan until you complete your test.

Surveillance testing will be in addition to testing of symptomatic students and testing that needs to be completed as part of the contact tracing process. For students who are being tested as part of contact tracing or due to COVID symptoms, members of the Health Center staff will advise you of any steps you need to take, including quarantine, isolation, or further testing.

Be safe and stay healthy!


Dean Ramsey

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