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Mandatory COVID-19 Testing for Students

DATE: August 11, 2020

Dear Students,

Please see below information regarding COVID-19 Testing and required Daily Health Checks.

TESTING:

COVID-19 testing will take place at Shepherd University Saturday, August 15 – Wednesday, August 19 between 8:30am and 5:00pm. This testing will be coordinated by the Jefferson County Health Department in compliance with a directive from WV Gov. Jim Justice.

ACTION ITEMS FOR YOU:

WHAT TYPE OF TEST WILL IT BE?
The Health Department will be providing an RNA by PCR test. The swabbing of the nose is minimal; the test is self-administered; the swab is inserted just inside the nostril – we are NOT doing the very invasive and oftentimes uncomfortable swabbing.

CAN I BE TESTED OFF CAMPUS?
For students who have extenuating circumstances that necessitate the need to be COVID-19 tested off-campus, testing may be an option if the following procedures are followed:

NOTE: Per the Health Department, if you live in Jefferson, Berkeley, or Morgan County you must be tested at Shepherd University.

WILL I NEED TO BE TESTED BEFORE CLASSES BEGIN?
Yes. All students should be tested before August 24, the first day of classes.

WILL I NEED TO BE TESTED BEFORE I PHYSICALLY MOVE INTO MY RESIDENCE HALL?
Yes. You will need to show verification that you have been tested before you can move into your room.

WHY ARE WE NOT TESTING ALL WEEK?
It is our goal to get as many test results back as possible before the start of classes. Because of the high demand on labs during the pandemic, the turnaround time for test results could be as much as 5 days. Therefore, our goal is to get as many people tested as possible by August 19 in order to get test results back.  Some results may not be back by August 24; however, you will be allowed to attend class as long as you have been tested.

WHAT IF I TEST POSITIVE?

The Jefferson County Health Department and the Shepherd University Health Center will have your test results. You will be contacted if you are positive. If you are a commuter student, you will need to leave campus immediately and contact your primary care physician to discuss your symptoms, and email the Health Center at healthcenter@rams.shepherd.edu to discuss strategies for your return to campusIf you would like your faculty to be notified, please email Jake Mellow at jmellow@shepherd.edu and an email will be sent to all of your professors to notify you may not be in class for a few weeks. It will be your responsibility to try to communicate with your professors to complete missed work. Specific medical information will not be shared.

WHAT IF I TEST NEGATIVE?

If you want full confirmation of a negative result, you will need to call the Shepherd University Health Center. Otherwise, you will not be contacted.

DAILY HEALTH CHECK:

You are required to complete the Daily Health Check – Students every day. This will provide information if you are well, if you become symptomatic, or if you test positive for COVID-19. Completion of this form DAILY is mandatory. Students who will be 100% online will not have to complete the form unless you plan to visit campus for any reason.  You are required to take your own temperature each day before coming to campus or before leaving your residence hall. You will report this daily on the Health Monitoring Form. Thermometers typically can be purchased at most grocery, health or large stores. Although Shepherd will have infrared thermometers located across campus, it would be faster for you to have your own.

Additional emails will be sent as information becomes available. It is critical that you continue to check the websites and your emails for updates.

Stay well!

Holly Morgan Frye
Vice President for Student Affairs and
Director of Community Relations