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Testing & Tracing

Last Updated: March 9, 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.

Tulane University is requiring ongoing COVID-19 testing for all students, faculty and staff. 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.

 

 

Types of Testing

Asymptomatic Surveillance Testing

This testing program is administered through the Tulane Testing Centers (Paterson, Phelps, Downtown/LaSalle) and is scheduled via email prompts, which all Tulane students, faculty and staff should be receiving. The Testing Centers are for asymptomatic surveillance testing – not for testing symptomatic individuals. Do not call or email Campus Health to schedule asymptomatic testing. 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.

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

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 healthcare provider.

Retesting Positives

Retesting for those who have already tested positive depends on the specific situation. Individuals should work with their healthcare provider to best determine return to work or class testing protocols. Some individuals who test positive may continue to test positive, even after they are no longer contagious. Someone who has previously tested positive will not be tested again until 90 days after their initial positive test unless they begin experiencing symptoms.

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Tulane Testing Centers

Tulane has opened three 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 or have been exposed to a known case, 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
    Testing for undergraduates only at this location
     
  • Paterson Hall — 2400 Wall Alley
     
  • Downtown/LaSalle
    226 South Villere Street, next to Tulane Hospital’s LaSalle Garage exit

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Testing Frequency

The following testing schedule is planned for the spring semester:

  • Residential undergraduate students: Get tested twice a week after you receive a new QR code. You must complete your test within 48 hours of receiving your testing notice and new QR code.
     
  • Off-campus NTC undergraduate students: Get tested twice a week after you receive a new QR code. You must complete your test within 48 hours of receiving your testing notice and new QR code.
     
  • Graduate and Professional students: Get tested every two weeks. You must complete your test within 72 hours of receiving your testing notice.
     
  • SoPA students: Get tested every two weeks. You must complete your test within 72 hours of receiving your testing notice.
     
  • Employees (including faculty, staff and Sodexo/Allied staff): Get tested every two weeks. You must complete your test within 72 hours of receiving your testing notice.
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.
     
  • Receiving the vaccine does not exempt you from the testing program.
     
  • 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.
     
  • We do not have information when the vaccine will become more widely available. 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

Students, faculty and staff who are experiencing symptoms, have been exposed or have tested positive for COVID-19 are required to quarantine or isolate. 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

Students have the option to isolate or quarantine at a Tulane-hosted space or off campus in their own residence. Students may not quarantine or isolate in their residence hall rooms, even if they have a single occupancy room. All students can utilize Tulane facilities for quarantine or isolation, including graduate students and undergraduates living off campus. COVID-19 precautions are in place for these spaces including, cleaning and sanitization processes, limited space access, and no common area use. 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 in Paterson Hall (capacity 110) for students who have tested positive. Nursing staff are present 24/7 and meal delivery is available. Students will continue their coursework remotely while staying in Paterson.

Tulane is providing quarantine space for students in the Hyatt Regency Hotel downtown, where rooms are located in a separate tower of the hotel away from other guests. We will also have staff members onsite at the Hyatt overnight. While at the Hyatt, students will be asked to quarantine in their rooms. They may leave their rooms to walk the halls of their assigned tower if they like, but they must be masked and practice social distancing. Meals will be delivered, and students will have access to WiFi to continue with their coursework.
 
For some the above options 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: 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 self-isolate and 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 or at the Hyatt 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. Students quarantining at the Hyatt will be tested at the Hyatt on day 7 of their quarantine. In both situations, the students will work with Tulane contact tracers to set up a testing schedule. No testing will occur on Sundays at the Health Center or at the Hyatt. 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, 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 with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you should quarantine immediately. Do not go to a testing center — contact the Student Health Center or your health provider and wait for guidance. 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

How do I schedule a screening test at a Testing Center?

Email notices are sent to prompt test scheduling. You must schedule an appointment and go to the testing center with your QR Code. Do not schedule an appointment if you don’t have a QR code. Please do not call or email Campus Health to schedule a test. Email CHTestResults@wave.tulane.edu with questions and a staff member will follow up with you.

When you receive your scheduling notice, please schedule your appointment as soon as possible. Do not wait to schedule until the last minute.

Appointments are required for safety purposes at the Tulane Testing Centers. We have a schedule to allow for social distancing and to manage flow and wait times. Do not visit a testing center without scheduling first.

If you are a student experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to a known case, 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 your healthcare provider.

How do I reschedule/cancel my test?

Please try to keep your scheduled appointment. If you must cancel, use the Campus Health Patient Portal and reschedule for a different time.

When/where do I get my test results?

Test results can be viewed or downloaded through the Campus Health Patient Portal. These results will be returned within 48 hours. You will receive an email and/or phone call with your results.

What if I get a positive result?

If you test positive for COVID-19, Campus Health will help you determine whether to isolate in a university-controlled location or at home. Tulane Contact Tracers will also contact you to determine any close contacts that may need to be notified and determine what areas on campus may need to be disinfected.

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

If you receive a positive test from an outside provider, please submit the COVID-19 Reporting Form as soon as possible.

What if I’ve been exposed to COVID-19?

If you believe you have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you should quarantine immediately. Do not go to a testing center — contact the Student Health Center or your health provider and wait for guidance. 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 of more over a 24-hour period, closer than 6 feet, with someone who tested positive. For more information visit the CDC website.

What if I’m working/studying remotely?

Faculty/staff: For the safety of the Tulane and New Orleans communities, all faculty and staff – even those working remotely – will be expected to be tested according to the frequency detailed above. Those who are working out of state or have ADA accommodations should notify their department leadership, human resources, and CHTestResults@wave.tulane.edu to update their status in the system and to be approved to opt out of testing.

Students: All students are expected to be tested according to the frequency detailed above. Students who are participating in online only programs should contact CHTestResults@wave.tulane.edu to see if they are eligible or what steps they need to take to opt out of testing.

Are Tulane’s testing results included in state/city reports?

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 are reflected in state and city reporting.

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