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Testing Protocol

COVID-19 Testing for Returning to Campus

Testing for SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus will again be required of all who will be living, working, taking classes, or studying on Santa Clara’s campus in winter 2021.

Getting Tested on Campus

With campus closed down for the holiday 2020 break, Testing Tuesdays have been discontinued.

Winter 2021

Regular on-campus testing will resume in winter 2021 on a weekly basis.

Residence Hall Students: Those moving in to residence halls will be tested upon their arrival, and again five days later.

Weekly Testing: Anyone coming to campus will be asked to participate in weekly testing, which will be available to all students (on campus and off) as well as essential faculty and staff, three days a week. More details on winter 2021 testing protocols will be shared soon.

Students Required to be Tested

Students who should expect to be tested include: 

  • On-campus residents. The small number of students who have been approved to live on campus have been tested for COVID-19 immediately prior to the start of the fall quarter and at least once after quarter commenced. 
  • Students coming to campus for classes or any other purpose. Students who plan to be on campus for any purpose—utilizing study areas in the Benson Memorial Center or Learning Commons; taking in-person labs or performance classes; or ROTC—have been required to be tested for COVID-19 immediately prior to the start of the quarter after quarantining for five days. 
  • Students Living Off Campus. Students who live in the neighborhoods adjacent to the campus will have the opportunity to be tested just prior to the start of the quarter and thereafter in winter 2021.
  • Any student experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. In the event a student has symptoms and suspects COVID-19 infection, they can contact Cowell Health Center to arrange for a health practitioner to conduct a test. 

  • Close contacts of symptomatic students. If a student tests positive, the University will reach out to close contacts to encourage them to seek testing. If the close contacts are University students, testing will be available at Cowell for those living close to campus. All non-students will be directed to reach out to their personal physician or public testing sites to conduct testing.
  • Other groups as needed. Depending on the COVID situation during the quarter, SCU may request specific groups of students undergo testing for purposes of viral surveillance. Unless indicated by a known exposure, such testing will not be mandatory, but we expect all students to take seriously their responsibility to protect the campus community, including non-students, from the COVID virus. 

Faculty and Staff Being Tested

Faculty and staff will be tested if they are considered “essential personnel” or if they are faculty required to be on campus for in-person instruction. They will be contacted by email to set up a testing date.

Isolation and Quarantine


On-campus residents suspected of having COVID-19 will be tested and required to quarantine in their residence hall for 14 days pending test results. Suitemate(s) must also take a COVID-19 test and quarantine for 14 days pending test results.

An on-campus resident who tests positive will be required to isolate at St. Clare Hall for 14 days after symptom onset and resolution of symptoms for at least 7 days without use of fever-reducing medicine. Asymptomatic individuals who test positive for COVID-19 can return to their campus residence 14 days after their positive test results. Suitemate(s) must be tested and may be required to quarantine for 14 days.

Off-campus students suspected of having COVID-19 will be required to quarantine until their test results come in, and to follow protocols for staying isolated in the event the test is positive. It is important for students moving to nearby off-campus housing for fall 2020 to have a plan for quarantine or self-isolation away from roommates, should that become necessary. On-campus quarantine/isolation space will be reserved for on-campus-resident students. 

Faculty and Staff

If faculty or staff test positive for COVID-19, they must remain home and self-isolate; employees must notify their supervisor and HR ( All campus members must immediately report a positive test —regardless of whether you have symptoms and no matter if you were on campus within the past 48 hours or not. Report your situation to 408-554-5100. 

Positive? Call 5100

Faculty, staff, or students who experience a positive test—with or without symptoms— are asked to report their situation to 408-554-5100. This line will be staffed 24/7. The information collected confidentially will be used to inform campus departments handling SCU’s COVID-19 response. Those who will be informed as needed are: 

  • Tracking Team
  • Human Resources
  • Cowell Health Center
  • University Operations (for cleaning, closure, etc.)
  • Required County Tracking
  • University Marketing and Communications for website updates and (anonymized) alerts to campus. 

Your Role in Preventing COVID-19 Outbreaks 

Whether you come to campus or not, training on Santa Clara’s health and safety procedures for fall 2020 will be mandatory for all campus members. The following safety protocols are meant to protect our students, faculty, staff, and the surrounding community. 

  • Daily Symptom Tracking. All faculty, staff, and students coming onto the campus in the fall, regardless of whether they are living on or off campus, are required to track Daily Symptoms here prior to coming to campus (tracker is also available on the SCU Mobile App). 

  • Prevention behavior. Students will also be expected to:

    • Participate in SCU’s COVID-19 contact tracing program;

    • Wear face coverings at all times on campus—indoors and outdoors; 

    • Practice social distancing (6-feet minimum) at all times—indoors and outdoors;

    • The small number of students living on-campus in emergency housing will not be permitted to enter other residence halls, host any guests, or use common spaces. 

  • Report positive cases, wherever you live. Any student who tests positive —with or without symptoms, no matter where they live— is asked to report their situation to 408-554-5100. The information collected confidentially will be used to inform campus departments handling SCU’s COVID-19 response, including the SCU Tracking Team; Human Resources; Cowell Health Center; University Operations (for cleaning, closure, etc.); required county authorities; and University Marketing and Communications for website updates.

  • Consequences for violations. Failing to comply with our collective commitment to safety efforts during this pandemic is a serious violation of the Student Conduct Code. Students cited for failing to abide by campus, county and state health and safety protocols are subject to the full range of disciplinary actions including fines, restricted access to campus facilities, disciplinary probation, deferred suspension, suspension, and expulsion. The Student Conduct Code and its full range of disciplinary actions applies to all students whether on or off campus.