COVID-19 Update: Spring Semester Updates for Testing and Quarantine
Feb. 2, 2021
Dear SLU community,
With the spring semester officially underway, we want to share some updates with you relating to the University’s ongoing response to COVID-19. This is particularly important for our students, but we are including our faculty, staff and parents on this message, too.
The testing options for the spring will mirror much of what we did during the fall, but I want to offer a refresher:
- If you develop symptoms: Students who are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms should still contact Student Health immediately (314-977-2323). A nurse is available 24/7 to assess your symptoms and schedule a COVID-19 test. Or you can fill out the new testing request form and someone from Student Health will help you schedule a test. Clinical students who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should contact the Office of Employee Health (314-257-8400).
- Random, asymptomatic testing: We will continue our weekly, random asymptomatic testing as we did in the fall. This affects students who live in on-campus housing only. If you are selected to participate, you are required to be tested. We will select 10 percent, or about 350, of our on-campus students each week to be tested. Additional instructions and registration information will be provided to those slated for testing by Friday of any given week, and testing will take place in Simon Rec the following Tuesday and Thursday.
- Cluster testing: Students who are identified by our contact tracing team to be part of a “cluster” will also be required to be tested. This includes students living on and off campus.
- Testing of masked and unmasked contacts: Per a new protocol devised in partnership with the St. Louis City Health Department, the University is now requiring all students who are in quarantine on- and off-campus to be tested between five and seven days after their potential COVID-19 exposure. Close contacts are quarantined alone for 14 days to watch for symptoms. A close contact is anyone who, while not wearing a face mask, was closer than 6 feet to a COVID-19-positive person for 15 minutes or more.
- According to our new protocol, persons who were wearing masks while closer than 6
feet to a COVID-19-positive person for 15 minutes or more will be monitored on a watch
list. They, too, are now required to be tested between five and seven days after their
potential COVID-19 exposure. This new wide-scale testing will help us determine refinements
to our testing practices at SLU.
Failure to comply with this required testing will prompt a referral to the Office of Student Responsibility and Community Standards for disciplinary action.
- If you get tested off campus, please continue to share your test results with Student Health (firstname.lastname@example.org), whether you test positive or negative. If you test positive, please call Student Health immediately at 314-977-2323.
The St Louis City Health Department has decided not to adopt a new CDC guidance that permits close contacts to test out of quarantine early with a negative COVID-19 test result. Therefore, it will not be part of our process at SLU.
Neck gaiters as face coverings
SLU’s interim policy on face masks no longer prohibits the use of neck gaiters as a protective face covering. Current public health recommendations indicate that the term “gaiter” no longer refers to just a single type of garment as was once the case. Thus, gaiters are now considered sufficient as long as they meet our face mask policy by covering both the nose and mouth. Our interim policy has been updated to reflect this change. Please note that masks with exhalation valves continue to be prohibited.
Please begin using #CampusClear, SLU’s daily symptom checker. A “Good to Go!” message on #CampusClear is required to enter Pius Library and the Simon Rec Center this spring, just as it was in the fall. Some departments have symptom tracking tools other than #CampusClear; please use those as they apply to you.
Remember: If you are experiencing symptoms you should fill out #CampusClear and follow the directions on the screen to contact Student Health or Employee Health.
As always, email email@example.com with any questions.
Let’s start this academic year strong, together, as OneSLU.
Stay safe and healthy.
Terri Rebmann, Ph.D., RN, CIC, FAPIC
Special Assistant to the President
Director, Institute for Biosecurity
Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics
College for Public Health & Social Justice