September 1, 2020
As we move into the third week of classes and the fourth week of students living on campus, our screening program has detected increases in asymptomatic positive cases in our on-campus undergraduate population. Results like this are not unexpected given the scope of our testing and contact tracing program. We are monitoring these numbers closely and adjusting our health strategies accordingly.
Part of that adjustment means increasing the testing frequency of our on-campus undergraduate students. Last week, we announced that all undergraduate students will be tested weekly. This week, we are increasing the testing of students living on campus to twice per week. We are working to quickly expand our testing program. Please be patient as we expand testing.
In addition to testing increases, we are also adding accommodations for isolation and quarantine. At this point it is imperative for everyone to adhere to the Tulane health safety protocols – especially those living in residence halls. This includes wearing face coverings (even in residence halls), following social distancing practices and maintaining proper hand hygiene.
Below are some additional details about updates that we’re undertaking to improve community reporting and to expand our testing program:
This week, we will be sharing a daily reporting dashboard with key numbers around testing and positives. Thank you for your patience as we build this dashboard. We’ve been focused on providing expansive testing and support for our community and updating the community regarding results via email. We are currently working to align our data sources to be able to best share our daily measures. All test counts and results are, and have been, reported to the Louisiana Department of Health through the School of Medicine Laboratory and are reflected in the city and state reporting.
We are currently working to increase our testing capacity and will be ramping up to deliver the following schedule in coming weeks:
We will provide an option to request increased testing and will share information when that feature comes online soon. Please allow 48 hours for results to be available in the patient portal.
To support increased testing for undergraduate students, we have added an additional testing center in Phelps Hall — for undergraduates only — which will be open for appointment scheduling tomorrow. Undergraduates scheduling tests from this point forward should schedule at the Phelps Testing Center. Please keep all currently scheduled Paterson appointments. Graduate and professional students and employees will be tested at the Paterson Hall and Downtown Testing Centers. Please be sure to check all available locations for appointments to fit your schedule.
The portal for scheduling appointments is experiencing high use. Please schedule as soon as you receive your email for the first available appointment. If the portal “times out” or fails to find an appointment for a specific location, please try again and broaden your search to other Testing Centers. Please note, the Tulane Testing Centers are not on-demand services and we cannot accommodate requests for testing at specific dates and times.
We’ve had several questions recently that have made it clear that there have been some misunderstandings about the scope of our testing program. To clarify, please see below regarding testing that is provided for the Tulane community:
Isolation: All who test positive are required to isolate for 10 days following the first positive test, provided the positive individual has been symptom free, without medication, for 24 hours.
Quarantine: A close contact to a known positive case is required to quarantine for 14 days and to monitor symptoms over that period.
The next few weeks are critical – all must closely follow health safety protocols and guidelines.