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COVID-19 Testing Program Update

August 26, 2020

Dear Tulane Community:
 
Last week, we announced expansion of Tulane’s COVID-19 Testing Program to include weekly screening for undergraduate students, in addition to monthly testing for grad students and employees. This will give us the ability to rapidly identify positive cases in a large and active segment of our community. We have made significant headway since we announced our plan last week. Please be patient as we increase capacity to expand this part of our program in the coming week.
 
Because of the impact of planning for severe weather and the closure of the testing center on Monday, the sharing of updated community testing numbers will be delayed until tomorrow.

Testing Centers & Scheduling Capacity 

Currently, we have two testing centers – one uptown in Paterson Hall and another downtown near the Tulane Medical Center. In coming weeks, we’ll be adding a second uptown testing location to handle additional testing capacity. In the meantime, there is ample testing appointment times available at the downtown location. Members of the Tulane community can schedule tests at either the uptown or downtown sites.
 
If you’re an uptown student needing COVID-19 testing, you can easily get there via Tulane Shuttles. The Diboll Green Line and the Commons Green Line drop off at multiple locations. For more information, visit the Shuttles & Transportation website.

Student Travel

We strongly discourage students from traveling outside of the greater New Orleans area during the Fall 2020 semester. Travel, particularly air travel, may increase a student’s exposure to COVID-19.  As such, we ask that students restrict their travel to that which is absolutely necessary. For more details on this policy and requirements for students who must travel, review the Student Travel Protocol online.

General COVID-19 Testing & Quarantine/Isolation Protocols
  • If you believe you have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, DO NOT go to a testing center. Contact your health provider or the Student Health Center and wait for guidance. But do immediately notify the university, 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 15 minutes or more, closer than 6 feet, with someone who tested positive. Visit the Return to Campus website for more information regarding contacts.
     
  • Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Louisiana Dept. of Health guidelines call for a symptom-based strategy for releasing individuals from isolation (those who have tested positive for COVID-19) and quarantine (those who have been in close contact with someone who tested positive). Tulane is following these guidelines.
     
    • Isolation Guidelines: Isolation can end 10 days following the first positive test if the positive individual has been symptom free, without medication, for 24 hours.
    • Quarantine Guidelines: A close contact is required to quarantine for 14 days and to monitor symptoms. Testing will not allow for an earlier release and is not currently recommended in these situations. However, when testing is conducted for a quarantined close contact, it cannot be done less than 5 days after exposure. A negative test result during quarantine does not change or reduce the quarantine period, per current guidelines.
       
  • Students will have the option to isolate or quarantine at a space provided by Tulane or off campus. 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 those undergraduates living off campus.
     
  • 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.

Thank you,

Campus Health