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Testing Protocol

Starting Friday, September 17, all students—even those who are fully vaccinated—must participate in mandatory entry testing. Further, all resident undergraduates will be required to test weekly throughout the fall term. Learn what to do if you test positive during the quarter and tips for taking care. Those with qualified exemptions from vaccination will be required to test weekly. 


Mandatory Fall 2021 Entry Testing

This testing is important because studies have shown that fully vaccinated persons can become infected with COVID-19 (especially the more transmissible Delta variant) and spread it to others without having COVID-19 symptoms themselves.

If you tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 3 months before the fall quarter—regardless of vaccination status—you are exempted from entry testing. You must report your positive test result by submitting the Recent Positive COVID Test Documentation form to be exempted.

The CDC recommends that people not test again for 90 days after a positive test, as it is possible to continue to test positive despite being non-infectious after the isolation period. You will be asked to upload a PDF or photo of the positive test result from a lab, showing your name, the date, the name of the lab, and the type of test done. You will also be asked to upload a photo of your SCU Access card, clearly showing your name and student ID number. Once this data has been processed, you will receive an email confirmation. 

Please note that if you are not vaccinated, or if you are living on campus, you will be expected to start testing again weekly once you are 90 days past the date of the positive test.


Undergraduate Students: A Three-Test Process

  1. Take Test No. 1. Students moving into campus housing must get tested as soon as possible once they move in (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday). Off-campus students should plan to get tested as soon as possible starting in that same time frame. 
    1. Take Steps to Avoid Transmission: Students should plan for three to four days in between tests, during which time they should take careful precautions to avoid transmitting to others, in case they are unknowingly positive. This includes wearing masks indoors at all times (except while eating, drinking or sleeping); not eating or drinking in indoor classrooms; wearing masks outdoors in large gatherings where social distancing is not possible. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms you should behave as if you may be positive, and get tested as soon as possible. 
  2. Take Test No. 2: After three or four days (those who test on Monday should plan on testing again on Friday, for example) students should get tested again. 
  3. Take Test No. 3. All students should take one more test at the beginning of the second week of classes.

Graduate Students: Modified Testing Protocol

Excluding law and executive MBA who have already completed testing, graduate students should plan on getting tested twice, at the beginning of weeks 1 and 2 of their term.

Students at the Berkeley campus of Jesuit School of Theology will be expected to be tested once weekly for the first three weeks. Testing locations, hours and other information will be emailed to all students.


Mandatory Weekly Testing 

All on-campus resident undergraduates are required to test weekly for COVID-19 during the fall 2021 term.

Off-campus students are strongly encouraged to participate in weekly testing even if they are not attending classes face to face. 


Self-Administered Testing from Color

Starting September 15, 2021, on-campus testing will be done exclusively by a no-cost, self-administered nasal swab from Color. Here’s how it works:

  1. Create an account with Color.
  2. Pick up a testing kit in your residence hall, Benson Memorial Center, or in other buildings around campus.
  3. Activate your testing kit and collect your sample.
  4. Drop off your test at a collection bin (found at the same locations where you pick up the testing kits).
  5. Receive your results within 24-36 hours through your Color account.

Test kits can be picked up in residence halls or the following buildings around campus:

  • Benson (info desk in east lobby)
  • St Joseph's (lobby)
  • Dowd (lobby)
  • Lucas (lobby)
  • Vari (lobby)
  • SCDI (lobby)
  • Guadalupe (Office of Graduate Admissions and Student Services, 1st floor)
Completed samples can be dropped off at these same locations.

Jesuit School of Theology (JST) Berkeley Campus 

  • COVID-19 testing every Wednesday 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Manresa Lounge
  • For questions or concerns regarding JST COVID-19 testing, please contact Tanisha Sparks at (510) 549-5070.


If You Test Positive During the Quarter 

When the University becomes aware that an individual has received a positive COVID-19 test result, the SCU COVID Support Team works to ensure the individual is isolated and, as appropriate, that close contacts are quarantined.

In order to notify close contacts, individuals who test positive will receive a short survey from the COVID Support Team, COVID-19 Case Self-Report (Qualtrics), requesting information pertaining to which campus buildings the individual visited during the 48 hours prior to the test date.

If an individual receives a positive test result from an off-campus testing facility, they must complete the COVID-19 Case Self-Report (Qualtrics) survey in order to notify the SCU COVID Support Team.

For more information, please read the University’s isolation and quarantine guidelines.


Tips for Taking Care

You've got this. SCU can help. If you live on campus please respond to SCU's COVID-19 support emails or calls to receive isolation details and get help.

number one Isolate in your room for 10 days 

Even if you have no COVID-19 symptoms. You can do this. Have roommates bring you food or get delivery in the dorms, make sure everyone masks up when you are out of your room, and open windows for better ventilation. Even if you are vaccinated, you can still spread COVID-19 to your suitemates and housemates. If you have symptoms: Isolation lasts for 10 days since symptoms first appeared and at least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing meds and with other symptoms improving. If you do not have symptoms: Isolation lasts for 10 days starting the day you were first tested.

number two Take care of yourself

Get rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines to help you feel better. Call Cowell at 408-554-4501 or your doctor if your symptoms worsen or if you need medical advice.

number three Take care of your friends 

Contact the people you’ve been hanging out with in the past couple of days(even if you all were wearing masks), tell them you tested positive and encourage them to get tested too (preferably 3-5 days after they last saw you). They should minimize interactions with others until they receive a negative test.

number four Take care of your mental health

Video chat with friends & family to stay connected! Get some fresh air in your backyard. Get productive—apply for jobs, internships, grad programs, or just catch up on studying. If you feel overwhelmed, take a break to meditate or try an online yoga class. Treat yourself to a sweet treat or decadent meal and watch movies.

number five Take care of your academics

Reach out to your professors for extensions/help as needed. Let your professors know that you won’t be in class, and make sure you can access class recordings or live streams. They are here to help, they expect students to miss class for isolation.

Note: Faculty and students in your classes will receive an email that someone in the class has tested positive, but they will not know it is you.


Vaccine Mandate Waivers

Any student, faculty, or staff member who is not fully vaccinated and received an official University waiver from the vaccine mandate is required to participate in weekly testing.

To qualify as fully vaccinated, a minimum of two weeks must have passed since your final vaccine dose.