Weekly COVID-19 Testing at SCU Beginning January 4
We hope you are safe and well and enjoying your holiday recess. As we look toward winter term, we want to provide vital information about the free, weekly COVID-19 testing that will be available to you—and especially about our two-test protocol for Week One. This testing will be a crucial part of keeping our campus safe amid the troubling surge in cases in our area right now.
Here’s what you need to know:
To get off to a safe start and identify anyone who might have unknowingly contracted the COVID-19 virus on break, we strongly encourage all students returning to nearby off-campus housing to be tested twice in the first week—once on Monday or Tuesday Jan. 4 or 5, and again Thursday or Friday Jan. 7 or 8.
- When: Week of January 4-8, testing available daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Where: Benson Memorial Center, Williman Room
- How: We have a new testing provider, so the procedure is slightly different (and easier) than the previous protocol. 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 starting in January.
- 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. No visiting friends outside your household. This is hard, we know! But it is the sacrifice we must make given that many new infections are being caused by small groups where one or more people don’t realize they are positive. Please do your part!
- Raffle Prizes: As a small bonus, those who get tested will be entered to win weekly and monthly raffle prizes like gift cards. More information will be shared at the testing site.
If your return-to-campus testing reveals you are positive, you must have a plan to isolate away from your housemates for at least 10 days. You also will be contacted by the SCU contact tracing team. For tips on preventing COVID-19 in congregate housing, see tips from the Centers for Disease Control. Please remember that university-based isolation housing will not be available for off-campus residents.
On-Campus Resident Students
Once a move-in date is announced, students moving into residence halls will be required to be tested twice their first week on campus, and weekly thereafter. More information will be shared when the move-in date is announced.
During the remainder of winter 2021, weekly testing will be available at one of three locations on campus. Students can get their weekly test from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday of each week. 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 for any reason must first fill out the Daily Symptom Check app on the Mobile SCU app on their phones or online through PreparedSCU.
We look forward to welcoming you back soon to a safe and healthy campus environment.
Craig Stephens, Ph.D.
Sanfilippo Professor, Biology Department and Public Health Program
Testing Team Co-Lead, COVID-19 Operations Team
Katherine Saxton, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Biology Department and Public Health Program
COVID-19 Health Ambassador, COVID-19 Operations Team