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COVID-19 Testing for Essential Employees in Winter 2021

 

Dear Faculty and Staff,

We hope you are safe and well and enjoying the final days of your holiday recess. As we look toward the start of winter 2021 term, we want to remind everyone about expectations regarding access to campus and the availability of COVID-19 testing for those who have been designated as essential employees.

Campus will remain closed for non-essential SCU personnel. Faculty and staff who have been authorized to come to campus for tasks that must be conducted on campus, approved research, or in support of approved online instruction are permitted on campus. Those employees who are on the essential list have been identified and notified. If you are unsure if you are on this list, please contact your supervisor (for staff) or department chair (for faculty). Anyone who is not deemed essential personnel is asked to please stay home and not come to campus, as required under the current county health order.

Most campus buildings remain closed to minimize the number of people interacting within them and to realize continued cost savings. Faculty and staff access to open buildings is restricted to those with an essential need for access.

Testing for COVID-19 is a critical part of Prepared SCU efforts. Faculty and staff who perform essential services on campus are expected to be tested for COVID-19 at no cost beginning the week of January 4. Testing frequency is set by their applicable Testing Tier, about which they were notified in late December. Those in Testing Tier 1 will be expected to be tested twice the week of January 4 and weekly thereafter. Those whose essential duties bring them to campus less frequently have been assigned to Testing Tier 2 or 3 and will begin their testing regimen when they first need to return to campus. This early testing will help us identify anyone who might have unknowingly contracted the COVID-19 virus over the break, and will help us prevent the spread of the virus on our campus. 

Testing January 4-8

  • When: For the week of Jan. 4-8, testing will be available daily, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for those in Testing Tier 1. 
  • Where: Benson Memorial Center, Williman Room
  • How: We have a new testing provider, so the procedure is slightly different (and easier) than our earlier protocols. You need to register once, and thereafter you’ll be in the system and can just show up any time a testing center is open. Registration will be available on Prepared SCU’s Testing Protocol page or on the Mobile SCU app. 
  • Very Important:
    • The test itself is a saliva test (video instructions on YouTube). Unlike the nasal-swab test, saliva testing requires that you do not eat, drink, smoke, chew, or brush your teeth for 60 minutes beforehand.
    • For this early-detection testing to be effective, you must take extra steps not to become exposed to COVID-19 during the interval between tests. That means restricting your activities to only essential tasks while you await both test results, along with typical protocols like social distancing, wearing facial coverings, and frequent hand washing. Remember, many new infections are being caused by small groups where one or more people don’t realize they are positive. Please do your part! 

Weekly Testing January 11- March 24, 2021

During the remainder of winter 2021, weekly testing clinics will be available at one of three locations on campus. Essential faculty and staff in Testing Tier 1, along with students, can get their weekly test from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday of each week. Those in Testing Tier 2 should visit these clinics every two weeks for testing; those in Tier 3, monthly. The locations are: 

  • Benson Memorial Center (Williman Room) (*For the first two weeks, this will be the only location)
  • Lucas Hall Room 125
  • Locatelli Student Activity Center (*Starting week 3 or 5, depending on demand)

For more information on testing, please check our Testing Protocol webpage, which is being updated regularly with the latest information.  

Coming to Campus? Fill out the Daily Symptom Check App 

Anyone coming to campus must first fill out the Daily Symptom Check app on the Mobile SCU app on their phones or online through PreparedSCU. Remember that non-essential personnel should not be coming to campus. 

Happy 2021! We hope it will bring us opportunities to reconnect in person and thank each of you for your commitment to our community.

 

Lisa A. Kloppenberg 
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

John Ottoboni
Chief Operating Officer

 

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