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COVID-19 Update: Testing Progress

Aug. 18, 2020

Dear members of the Saint Louis University community, 

Now that the process is complete, I want to give you an update on our COVID-19 testing of residential students. 

Prior to their moving into their rooms on campus, we tested approximately 3,500 students between last Monday and Sunday. Of this group of on-campus residents, 22 — or 0.63 percent — tested positive. This is lower than the 1 to 2 percent we anticipated, based on local data. An additional nine students who had recovered from COVID-19 also tested positive. 

I want to thank our Billikens who have either tested positive or who have been told by our contact tracing team that they need to quarantine due to exposure to someone with COVID-19. Their diligence and honesty during this stressful time is appreciated and truly makes a difference. 

The current COVID-19-positive students either returned to their family homes or moved into alternative, isolation housing here on campus. Their isolation period will be at least 10 days, during which time they will take their classes online. 

These testing results are heartening. It is now imperative that our students actively practice our public health safeguards. A negative test result is merely a snapshot in time. The COVID-19 virus spreads opportunistically from person to person, whenever people let their guard down. We have to be vigilant — each of us, all of the time.

Unfortunately, a few other universities have already closed because they could not contain the spread among their students. Our shared commitment to wearing masks and maintaining six-feet of social distance from one another is paramount to our ability to stay in community on our St. Louis campuses this fall. 

Reminder: Optional testing for students living off campus 

We have COVID-19 test openings available for students who live off campus through Wednesday afternoon. To register, please fill out this form and select a time slot for your test. You must bring your registration email to the testing site, along with a completed consent form. 

Again, this is optional testing for undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

If you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, please contact the Student Health Center (314-977-2323) or Employee Health (314-268-5499) immediately.

We are OneSLU. 

Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.