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On-Campus Testing

Misericordia University On-campus Re-entry Testing

January 7, 2021


All students MUST get tested for COVID-19 prior to the start of the Spring 2021 semester.

This will require students to get a COVID-19 test, get results, and upload them to Medicat, the University's Health and Wellness Center student health software.  Misericordia University strongly encourages all students to obtain a COVID-19 test at a public or commercial site before returning to campus.  Some suggested ways to obtain this test include testing through CVS, Walgreens, Rite-aid or through your medical provider.  You can also purchase an at-home test through Vault using this link and submit the results to MU.  Other at-home tests may be available as well. (COSTCO, Amazon)

As a University, however, we recognize that obtaining a test may be difficult, particularly since many regions are testing individuals only if you are symptomatic or if you have been identified as officially “exposed” (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or longer of someone who has tested positive).  Misericordia therefore will offer students the opportunity to test on campus prior to the beginning of the semester.  This approach will require students to come to campus, obtain the test, and return home in order to await results of the test.

Details of on-campus testing:

·        This is a self-administered nasal swab test.

·        The test will be a “pool” test, which means that individual student samples will be tested as part of a group of 10 students.

If the pool (the group) tests negative, then all are clear.

If the pool test comes back positive, you will be notified by Cougar Care of the positive result.  If that occurs, you will have two options:

1.     Obtain another test at home, take the test, and either demonstrate a negative test result or, if positive, isolate for the requisite period of time;

2.     Schedule a follow-up test on campus.  We will then re-test.  This will require that the student then return home and await the results of this second test.

·        From the moment of testing, it will be approximately 48-72 hours before we have results.

If you are symptomatic, living with/caring for a COVID positive person, or residing with a person suspected of having COVID, DO NOT COME TO CAMPUS FOR ANY REASON.  Please consult with your medical provider.

On-campus Testing FAQ’S:

Q:  How do I sign up for the pool test being offered on campus?

A:  We will distribute by Sunday, January 10, 2021, an email link which will allow students to sign up for a testing time.

Q:  When will the pool testing take place?

A:  Pool testing will be available as follows:

Tuesday, January 19, 10:00 -- noon:  40 slots for students – preference given to resident students

Wednesday, January 20, 9:00 – 3:00:  360 slots – preference given to resident students

Thursday, January 21, 9:00 – 3:00:  360 slots – preference given to resident students

Friday, January 22, 9:00 – 3:00:  360 slots – preference given to commuter students

Q:  How do students get results of negative tests administered on campus?

A:  Students will receive an email indicating a negative test result.

Q:  How do students get results of positive tests administered on campus?

A:  Students will be notified by telephone from a Cougar Care team member indicating that you need to proceed through further testing.

Q:  What if I want to test at home?  When do I do it?

A:  We encourage students to test in their local area if possible. If you test away from campus, you must test between January 19 and January 21.  You then need to upload the results of that test to Medicat.  You may not return to campus (either to move into your residence hall room or to attend classes) until you have received the results of that test and have uploaded those results.

What happens if...

·        I test positive from a test I take at home?  Answer:  Notify the Cougar Care team (cougarcare@misericordia.edu), stay home, and isolate for 10 days.

·        I test positive from a pool test at Misericordia?  Answer:  You may not return to campus until you receive a negative result from an individual COVID-19 test.  This can be received at any COVID testing site or arranged at Misericordia by the Cougar Care team.

·        I already tested positive for COVID after November 1, 2020.  Do I still need to be tested?  Answer:  Provide evidence of this by uploading documentation to Medicat.  Assuming we have appropriate documentation, you do not need to be tested.

I had COVID-19 symptoms recently but was never tested.  Do I still need to be tested?  Answer:  If you lived with someone that had COVID-19 and you were symptomatic, you will be required to obtain a note from your family doctor with the date of your symptoms and confirmation that you are cleared to return to the University. Upload this into Medicat. If you had symptoms but did not live with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, you will need to submit a negative test prior to returning.

·        I have already received both doses of the vaccine?  Answer:  If you have received both parts of the vaccine, provide evidence of this, uploaded into Medicat, and you do not have to be tested.

·        There’s bad weather the day of my test on the Misericordia campus?  Answer:  There will not be an opportunity to reschedule your testing appointment.  If you are unable to be tested by 3:30 on the day of the test, you will need to make other arrangements for testing before returning to campus.

·        I miss my sign up time?  Answer:  Reach out to Cougar Care (cougarcare@misericordia.edu).  There is no guarantee that another time slot will be available.

·        I need to change my time?  Answer:  You may NOT change your schedule time after the sign-up period closes on Tuesday, January 12, 6:00 p.m.

·        Whom do I contact if I can’t get a test?  Answer:  Reach out to Cougar Care (cougarcare@misericordia.edu).

Process Review and Improvement:

In order to obtain the most recent information regarding our processes, please go to the Misericordia University website (www.misericordia.edu/coronavirus).  Also, it will be valuable for students to opt in to Medicat text messaging, so that you may receive the most recent information as quickly as possible.

As we learn more about COVID-19 and the efficacy of our strategies, our approaches and plans will adjust.  Monitoring the effectiveness of our strategies, the health condition of the campus and continuing success of students will help with our adjustments.