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COVID-19 Surveillance Testing: September 19-20, 2020

We all want to stay healthy and living together in community for the full semester. To do so, the COVID-19 Leadership Team is recommending that we do a wide-scale test of the student body this weekend (9/19-9/20). By systematically testing students in addition to the surveillance testing we are already doing for music, athletics, ROTC, and off-campus participants, we should be able to identify a growing cluster before it expands beyond a controllable level. We are targeting 14 days after Labor Day in an effort to capture any cases that have evolved as a result of the holiday weekend. 

Testing Will Happen This Weekend (9/19-9/20)

We will be doing a self-administered pooled nasal swab test this weekend from 10 a.m-8 p.m. on both Saturday (9/19) and Sunday (9/20). Don’t worry! This is not the test that goes really far up your nose!  It is similar to the nasal test for the flu - quick, easy, and painless! When you come to pick up your meal, plan for an extra 10-15 minutes before you get your food to complete the testing process in Coray Gym. Please bring your ID so that we can put a sticker on it to show you have been tested. This includes graduate students who have meal plans with the College. 

If you don’t have a meal plan or aren’t eating at Anderson this weekend, please sign up for a time slot for either Saturday or Sunday between 2 pm. and 4:30 p.m. by following this link

Who Doesn't Need a Test?

There are a few groups of people who do not need to be part of this testing:

  1. Weekly testers (this testing weekend cannot replace your weekly test) - your blue band will let you bypass this testing when you get to the front of the line. The testing that you are doing weekly is a one-to-one result meaning your chances of going to quarantine needlessly are eliminated. Thus, you will need to continue your existing testing protocol that has been approved and established.  
  2. If you have had a positive COVID test in the last 3 months, please bring proof of this test with your name, date of test, and test results. Once it is reviewed, you will not need to test this weekend - look for the Exemption table when you get to the front of the line.
  3. If you were tested the week of 9/14 for symptoms or athletics, bring proof of results and, once we review your results, you will not need to test this weekend (if you were tested late in the week and don’t have results yet, we will have someone who can verify that you do not need to be tested) - look for the Exemption table when you get to the front of the line.

All other undergraduate students who are not on a meal plan will need to sign up for a testing appointment. All other graduate students are strongly encouraged to sign up for a testing appointment. The more people we can test this weekend the better!

About the Pooled Testing Method

To conserve resources we are using a pooled testing method. This means that samples from four people will be included in one test tube. In the event the test tube indicates the presence of COVID-19, each of the four original participants will need to be individually re-tested to identify which participant is infected. Students who need to be re-tested will be required to quarantine during the second test result waiting period.

What to Expect After the Test

We expect to have the initial results no later than Thursday, September 24th. If you do not hear from us, you can assume results from your group were negative and no further testing is required. If a Wheaton College staff member contacts you, please respond immediately so we can contain any potential spread of the virus on campus. Our goal continues to be providing a COVID-Safe, Thunder-Strong environment so students can remain on campus as planned.

If you have any questions about this process contact covidnurse@wheaton.edu.