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Urgent Update to COVID-19 Return-To-Campus Testing for Students Living On and Off Campus

Jan. 20, 2021

Dear SLU students,  

I write to remind you about required return-to-campus testing, which starts Friday, and to share an urgent update. 

In addition to the Abbott BinaxNOW rapid tests (a nasal swab), we also will be using saliva PCR tests. You are required to do both, one after the other. We are adding a follow-up test as a precaution after research released yesterday indicates the BinaxNOW test is less suited for asymptomatic testing than previously thought.

However, with the addition of the saliva test, you CANNOT eat, drink, smoke, chew gum or brush your teeth within 30 minutes before giving your saliva sample. 

We’re sorry about having to do two seemingly duplicative tests. Results from this confirmatory saliva test will help us catch any false negatives from the rapid test. This will assure us of a safer campus to start our spring semester. 

You will have the results from your rapid test within 15 minutes. A negative result from the BinaxNOW test will allow you to return to your residence hall. The results for your saliva test will be available within 72 hours. We will email you your saliva test results if you test negative, and call you if you test positive. 

Please try to get tested before traveling to St. Louis. If your test comes back positive, that will save you the travel and you can isolate in the comfort of your home.

Registration is required for SLU’s return-to-campus testing. We will not accept walk-ins.

So far, no single time blocks have been maxed out in capacity, but it could happen. Please register as soon as possible if you haven’t already.

A brief refresher: 

Optional testing for students who live off campus

We are excited to open up spots for commuter and off-campus students who would like to get tested. 

The availability of testing for off-campus students is due entirely to our gracious and service-oriented faculty, staff and clinical students. They are volunteering their time to make this broader testing possible.

Commuter and off-campus students can register for testing here. It’s the same registration process that we are using for on-campus students. We have just expanded our capacity to test more students. 

Reminders:

Thank you for your continued commitment to public health and the greater good of OneSLU.

Mask up and stay socially distant, and you will 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