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Testing & Tracing

Last Updated: Dec. 6, 2021

The purpose of Tulane’s comprehensive and ongoing testing program is to swiftly identify and isolate all positive individuals and to quarantine all close contacts to contain the potential spread of COVID-19.

As we enter a new phase of COVID-19 requirements we will continue to require testing for students, faculty and staff during Fall 2021.

The test uses a RT-PCR method approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The test is performed by the Molecular Pathology Laboratory at the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine of Tulane University School of Medicine. The laboratory is certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) and accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) to perform high-complexity testing. Results from all testing conducted by Tulane’s Molecular Pathology Lab, including numbers of tests and positive results, is shared with the Louisiana Department of Health, and is reflected in state and city reporting.

 

 

 

 

About Testing

Fall 2021

We will continue to require testing for students, faculty and staff during Fall 2021. Testing will be scheduled through email prompts, which all Tulane students, faculty and staff should be receiving. Testing is conducted at the Tulane Testing Center Uptown (Phelps) and Downtown (LaSalle).

Schedule your test on the Patient Portal when you receive a notification email. Test results will be returned within 48 hours. You will receive an email and/or phone call with your results.

Do not call or email Campus Health to schedule testing. For questions about testing, email CHTestResults@wave.tulane.edu.

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Types of Testing

Asymptomatic Surveillance Testing

This testing program is administered through the Tulane Testing Centers. The Testing Centers are for asymptomatic surveillance testing – not for testing symptomatic individuals or those who believe they have come in close contact with someone who is positive. Do not call or email Campus Health to schedule asymptomatic testing.

Symptomatic Testing

If you are a student who is experiencing symptoms, you should schedule a telehealth visit through the Campus Health Patient Portal or contact your healthcare provider. If you are an employee who is experiencing symptoms, you should contact the Living Well Clinic or your primary care provider.

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Tulane Testing Centers

Tulane has two Testing Centers to screen asymptomatic individuals (people without symptoms of COVID-19). The centers do not allow drop-in testing for those who are experiencing symptoms or who may have been exposed. Do not visit a testing center without scheduling first. Appointments are required for safety purposes — schedules allow for social distancing and to manage flow and wait times.

Emails are sent from no-reply@lablynx.com to prompt test scheduling. Please do not visit a campus testing center before receiving a scheduling notice. Do not call or email Campus Health to schedule asymptomatic testing.

If you are student and are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you should schedule a telehealth visit through the Campus Health Patient Portal or contact your healthcare provider. If you are an employee who is experiencing symptoms, you should contact the Living Well Clinic or your healthcare provider.

For questions about testing, email CHTestResults@wave.tulane.edu.

Locations

  • Phelps Hall — 27 McAlister Place
     
  • Downtown/LaSalle
    226 South Villere Street, next to Tulane Hospital’s LaSalle Garage exit

Please Note: The 1834 Club, located on the second floor of the LBC, will be utilized for vaccine administration only and is no longer available for COVID-19 testing.

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Testing Frequency

Planned Testing Schedule for the Remainder of December 2021

We will begin testing 2,500 randomly selected individuals daily from the Tulane community through December 17.  

  • Any individual receiving a QR Code must schedule their test as directed in the testing email.  
     
  • If you receive a text message and have not completed testing with a current QR code, immediately make an appointment and complete your required test.
     
  • Exit testing for undergraduate, graduate and professional students will begin 12/20/21. 
     
  • ALL faculty, staff, undergraduate, graduate, and professional students are REQUIRED to complete COVID-19 testing within 96 hours of receiving their QR code.

Please Note: Vaccination status does not preclude Tulane University COVID-19 testing requirements. All individuals on campus, regardless of vaccination status, are required to complete COVID testing when they receive their QR code.

The Tulane Testing Centers, both downtown (LaSalle) 226 South Villere Street, next to Tulane Hospital’s LaSalle Garage exit, and uptown (Phelps), are open. Tests are administered by appointment only.

If you have questions or need a QR code, email CHTestResults@tulane.edu.

Important Facts

  • Test schedule is subject to change. Please check this page for updates. Please monitor your email and schedule your testing when you receive your notice.
     
  • Please do not visit a campus testing center before receiving a scheduling notice/QR Code. If you do not have an active order (QR code) to get tested, you will be turned away from the testing center.
     
  • Be sure to complete the COVID-19 Reporting Form if you receive a positive test result from an outside healthcare provider and not through Tulane.
     
  • Individuals who have tested positive are not to be tested for 90 days. If you receive a notice, please contact CHTestResults@tulane.edu for assistance.
     
  • For questions about testing, email CHTestResults@tulane.edu.
     
  • Current COVID-19 Vaccine information is available here.

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Contact Tracing

Tulane’s contact tracing protocols are guided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local public health agencies and utilize the Johns Hopkins model. The goal of contact tracing is to swiftly identify close contacts to those who have tested positive with COVID-19 to prevent transmission.

If a member of the Tulane community tests positive for COVID-19 at a Tulane Testing Center, the Student Health Center or the Living Well Clinic, they will be contacted by a Tulane Contact Tracer. Tulane Contact Tracers will interview the COVID-19 positive person to identify close contacts, help monitor symptoms and provide resources to support isolation.

If a member of the Tulane community receives notice of a positive result from an outside healthcare provider, they must complete the COVID-19 Reporting Form so that contact tracing can be implemented. Employees should immediately notify their supervisor. If an employee is unable to complete the form due to illness, a supervisor can complete it on their behalf. Additional resources may be triggered following submission of the form.

Tulane Contact Tracers will call members of the Tulane Community who may have closely interacted with the person who tested positive. The names of contacts not affiliated with Tulane will not be contacted by Tulane Contact Tracers. Tulane Campus Health will coordinate with the Louisiana Department of Health to notify non-affiliates.

Tulane Contact Tracers will not share the identity of the person who tested positive with the contacts.

CDC guidance provides specific criteria to guide contact tracing notifications. Please do not take actions (e.g. cancel classes, send entire groups of people home) that impact a wide array of people. Tulane Contact Tracers will advise Human Resources regarding necessary actions.

For questions about contact tracing, email CHContactTrace@tulane.edu.

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Quarantine & Isolation

The CDC provides two separate definitions for quarantine and for isolation. Requirements for both vary depending on whether the individual is a student or a university employee.

  • Quarantine is used when a person has potentially been exposed to an illness and needs to separate from other people to see if they develop symptoms.
     
  • Isolation is used when someone has symptoms or is confirmed to have an illness.
     

Tulane-hosted Quarantine & Isolation Spaces

During fall 2021, Tulane will have limited isolation space on campus. Tulane will have NO quarantine space on campus. Students who need to quarantine will need to find their own quarantine location. Students may not quarantine in their residence hall room.

A case manager from Student Affairs will be assigned to each student and will make periodic checks to ensure compliance with isolation/quarantine and to assist the student if necessary.

Tulane is providing isolation space for students who have tested positive. Students will continue their coursework remotely.

For some the Tulane isolation space may be undesirable. For this reason, some students have chosen to rent an off-campus property. These students are still assigned a case manager and can reach out to us for any needs they may have. Some short-term rentals and hotels have guidelines that prohibit renting to individuals who have tested positive or are a close contact of a COVID-19 individual. Please check these guidelines before renting an off-campus property.

Quarantine & Isolation Guidelines

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Louisiana Department of Health guidelines call for a combination of a symptom-based & test-based strategy for determining when isolation or quarantine should be discontinued. Tulane is following these guidelines.

Isolation Guidelines: Isolation can end 10 days following either symptom onset or the first positive test if the positive individual has been symptom free, without fever-reducing medication, for 24 hours.

Quarantine Guidelines: Those who have been vaccinated WILL NOT need to quarantine. Quarantine duration is 7 days from date of last exposure. Tulane students and staff will be discharged from quarantine on day 8 if the following criteria are met:

  • They get a COVID-19 test* on day 7 of quarantine which comes back with a negative result.
  • They are not experiencing any COVID-19 like symptoms on day 7 of quarantine.

* A PCR test is the ONLY type of test that will be accepted to discharge someone from quarantine

If someone is experiencing symptoms on day 7 ONLY of their quarantine (it does not matter if they experience symptoms on days 1-6), the quarantine period will be extended by 3 days for a total of 10 days. If the symptomatic person is tested on day 7, negative test results from that test will not discharge them early from their 10-day quarantine period. Below are the criteria to discharge someone from their 10-day quarantine:

  • Improving symptoms for the past 3 days
  • No fever in the last 24 hours and no use of fever reducing medication

After a person is discharged from either their 7-day or 10-day quarantine, they should still (per the CDC):

  • Watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure.
  • If symptoms occur, immediately set up an appointment with either the Student Health Center or their medical provider.
  • Take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 such as: wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet apart from others, washing their hands and avoiding crowds.

Students that are quarantining off campus will be required to receive their day 7 COVID-19 tests through Tulane. Tests conducted outside of Tulane will not be accepted to discharge a student from quarantine. Students quarantining off campus will be scheduled to receive a COVID-19 test at the Student Health Center on day 7 of their quarantine. No testing will occur on Sundays at the Health Center during Fall 2021. If a student’s day 7 test should occur on a Sunday, it will be scheduled for Monday instead.

Contact tracers from Campus Health are notified of all COVID-19 positive tests completed through the Tulane System immediately. If students, faculty or staff get tested outside the Tulane System and receive a positive result, it is important to complete a COVID-19 Reporting Form as quickly as possible to notify contact tracers.

If you receive a positive result or believe you are a close contact and are unvaccinated, please isolate/quarantine immediately. You will get follow-up from a contact tracer within 24 hours of reporting your close contact.

To help better understand when you should be in isolation or quarantine, visit the CDC website.

Possible Exposure

If you believe you have been in close contact notify the university immediately regarding your contact by completing the online COVID-19 Reporting Form and someone will contact you with next steps. Please note, a close contact is someone who spent a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, closer than 6 feet, with someone who tested positive.

Returning After Isolation or Quarantine

Determining when to return to campus for class or work, or to be in the company of others, will be based on state and local health department and CDC guidance.

The university follows CDC, local and state health department guidance for determining when to return to on-site work or classes. These determinations will be based on discussions with the faculty, staff or student’s health care provider and in accordance with the guidance. For more details, view detailed guidelines on the CDC website.

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Testing FAQs

Do I need to get tested if I am vaccinated?

Yes. The planned testing schedule for the remainder of December 2021 is below:

We will begin testing 2,500 randomly selected individuals daily from the Tulane community through December 17.  

  • Any individual receiving a QR Code must schedule their test as directed in the testing email.  
     
  • If you receive a text message and have not completed testing with a current QR code, immediately make an appointment and complete your required test.
     
  • Exit testing for undergraduate, graduate and professional students will begin 12/20/21. 
     
  • ALL faculty, staff, undergraduate, graduate, and professional students are REQUIRED to complete COVID-19 testing within 96 hours of receiving their QR code.

Please Note: Vaccination status does not preclude Tulane University COVID-19 testing requirements. All individuals on campus, regardless of vaccination status, are required to complete COVID testing when they receive their QR code.

The Tulane Testing Centers, both downtown (LaSalle) 226 South Villere Street, next to Tulane Hospital’s LaSalle Garage exit, and uptown (Phelps), are open. Tests are administered by appointment only.

If you have questions or need a QR code, email CHTestResults@tulane.edu.

How do I get tested if I am vaccinated but experiencing COVID-like symptoms?
  • Individuals who are experiencing symptoms or have been potentially exposed to COVID-19 should NOT get tested at the surveillance testing sites.
     
  • HOWEVER, individuals who are experiencing symptoms or have been potentially exposed to COVID-19 should complete the COVID-19 Reporting Form. After completing the form, Tulane’s Contact Tracing Team will reach out to you and provide next steps for testing along with isolation/quarantine requirements.

Testing is available at the for students through Campus Health and the Living Well clinics for employees.

What are the protocols for close contacts or outside positives who are vaccinated?
  • Close contacts should complete the COVID-19 Reporting Form. All people should take a COVID test immediately after a known or suspected exposure to COVID-19. If negative, they should retest again between five- and seven-days post-exposure.
     
  • Vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine if they are a close contact. However, they should monitor their symptoms.
     
  • Individuals who are positive and have been vaccinated will need to isolate for 10 days.
What are the protocols for close contacts or outside positives who are unvaccinated?
  • Close contacts should complete the COVID-19 Reporting Form. Unvaccinated individuals will need to quarantine for 7 days and receive a negative result on their 7th day in order to leave quarantine. Individuals will need to complete this test at an offsite location, they cannot utilize the surveillance testing sites.
     
  • Individuals who are positive and are NOT vaccinated will need to isolate for 10 days.
Are employees in quarantine allowed to get tested at Tulane on their 7th day or do they have to go to an outside testing site?

Close contacts should complete the COVID-19 Reporting Form. Then Tulane Contact Tracers will reach out regarding testing locations available for employees at Tulane.

Where can close contact students get tested?

Close contacts should complete the COVID-19 Reporting Form. The Contact Tracing Team will reach out to you regarding testing.

Does Tulane have quarantine space for any student?

We do not have quarantine space for students who are close contacts of an individual who has tested positive, but have not tested positive themselves. Students who have to quarantine need to develop a plan for their quarantine needs. Case Management and Victim Support Services is available to help students in need of acquiring isolation space.

Will Tulane only have isolation space for students who live on-campus?

Yes. Unfortunately, we only have the capacity to isolate students who are living in on-campus residences. Off-campus students who cannot isolate on their own can work with Case Management and Victim Support Services for help.

Will Tulane have any isolation space for unvaccinated students living on campus? What about unvaccinated living off-campus?

All isolation space is for on-campus residential students only, regardless of vaccination status. Off-campus students will be advised to self-isolate using CDC guidance and to work with Case Management and Victim Support Services for other needs.

What is the university’s policy regarding COVID protocols in residence halls?

Residential students must wear a face covering in all common spaces. Students are not required to wear face coverings in their own residence hall rooms/suites.

Residential students may visit other Tulane residence halls. Off-campus guests and non-residential students may not visit residence halls.

Are students required to take part in the Tulane testing program if their program is fully online?

Non-residential students with a fully online course load who are not visiting Tulane campuses for any reason are not required to participate in the testing program. All students taking a percentage of their courses in-person must take part in the testing program.

 

Please contact CHTestResults@Tulane.edu regarding general COVID questions and contact CHContactTrace@Tulane.edu for questions regarding positive status or potential exposure.

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