In accordance with the Presidential Directive 22, weekly COVID-19 re-entry and surveillance testing sites are now available on campus.
The site for symptomatic or individuals exposed to COVID-19 is located at the Student Wellness Center, while the site for asymptomatic or individuals who have not been exposed to COVID-19, Titans Return Testing site, is located behind the university's bookstore, Titan Shops.
These sites are for students, faculty and staff who have not received the COVID-19 vaccine, uploaded their vaccination record card online, are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have an approved medical or religious exemption.
COVID-19 testing appointments are also available for vaccinated students and employees who meet the criteria and are experiencing symptoms, according to the university’s Student Wellness website.
However, fully vaccinated individuals who have submitted their vaccine record cards will not need re-entry and surveillance testing.
The university's Human Resources, Diversity and Inclusion department hosted a fall COVID-19 open forum earlier this month for staff and management, providing the most recent information relating to health guidelines, including testing information.
David Forgues, vice president of Human Resources, Diversity and Inclusion, led the forum and reminded faculty that all university community members must be fully vaccinated by Sept. 30, a deadline imposed by the Chancellor's Office.
Forgues said that the best way to keep the campus safe is to get vaccinated and have those feeling sick stay home.
"If you are sick, please stay home so that you don't expose the rest of our community to whatever that is, whether it's COVID or something else," Forgues said. "It's just really important for the health and safety of our community."
The Titans Return: COVID-19 Recovery website states that regular surveillance testing for asymptomatic individuals who are not experiencing symptoms or have been exposed to anyone with COVID-19 will be available at the Titans Return Testing site.
Asymptomatic individuals should not visit the Student Wellness Center to get tested, according to the website. The testing site will instead require a QR code that can be obtained when scheduling an appointment through the Titan Health Portal.
Separate testing for symptomatic individuals will be available at the Student Wellness Center by appointment or walk-in.
During the forum, Forgues said that faculty should not send symptomatic people to the bookstore area to get tested, but instead to the symptomatic designated site at the Student Wellness Center.
The website also states that unvaccinated individuals who have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 are advised to self-quarantine at home for 10 days starting from the date of last exposure.
If symptoms are developed during self-quarantine, the university advises individuals to seek testing, which will be available by appointment or walk-in at the Student Wellness Center, not the mass testing site.
Vaccinated individuals who do not have COVID-19 symptoms, but have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19 can continue to visit the campus regularly, Forgues said. If symptoms are developed, vaccinated faculty and students should stay home until they feel better or test negative to COVID-19.
For faculty who become sick or test positive for COVID-19, Forgues said that ill faculty will need to take leave to recover. The university has prepared all classes for up to 20% to be delivered in an alternative and remote method.
Students, faculty and staff who are not fully vaccinated will be required to undergo weekly testing until they are fully vaccinated. Being fully vaccinated means at least two weeks have passed after the final dose for a two-dose sequence or two weeks have passed after one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Individuals who have not uploaded their COVID-19 vaccine records will regularly receive notices with reminders of the mandatory weekly testing, Forgues said.
During the forum, Forgues said that testing moves along quickly, and people who have already begun the weekly surveillance testing have easily figured out how to get through it each week.
"Several of the other campuses have been out to take a look at the set-up that we have, and it's been really encouraging to know that we've put out kind of the gold standard of response protocols," Fogues said. "And many of the other campuses now are following along."
According to the Titans Return website, individuals who seek testing at either testing site cannot eat, drink, smoke, vape, brush their teeth or use mouthwash 60 minutes before getting tested.
For additional information on specific hours of operation for each testing site, submitting a COVID-19 vaccination record card, scheduling an appointment, and further information regarding testing resources, university community members can visit the Titans Return: COVID-19 Recovery website.