Return to Campus Testing Update

September 23, 2021

Dear Tulane Community,

COVID-19 testing is a core part of Tulane's comprehensive COVID-19 strategy. Our post-Hurricane Ida Return to Campus testing plan outlined below, along with contact tracing, mandatory face coverings and good hand hygiene were developed to keep our community and neighbors safe. Please remember, masks are required in all indoor campus spaces.

  • All faculty, staff, and undergraduate, graduate and professional students are required to complete their COVID-19 return test requirement by Sept. 26.

Information in this email applies to both the uptown and downtown campuses, and all faculty, staff, and students — undergraduate, graduate, professional, and anyone who lives on or off campus.

Planned Testing Schedule for Sept. 13 - Sept. 26

All faculty, staff, undergraduate, graduate, and professional students who received a QR code must schedule and complete their test within 72 hours of receiving their QR code. Return to Campus testing must be completed by 9/26/2021.

Test results are processed by the Tulane School of Medicine Laboratory. Expect results to be returned within 24-36 hours. You will receive an email and/or phone call with your results. If you do not receive results by 36 hours, please email

Vaccine Updates

We are closely monitoring and waiting for guidance from CDC and LDH on expanding COVID-19 booster shots. We anticipate CDC approval in the next few days followed by LDH. We are preparing to host vaccine clinics and will communicate details and scheduling opportunities as soon as it become available.  If you think you might meet current criteria for vaccine, visit your local health care provider or pharmacy.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration amended the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to allow for use of a single booster dose to be administered at least six months after completion of the primary series in:

  • individuals 65 years of age and older;
  • individuals 18 through 64 years of age at high risk of severe COVID-19; and
  • individuals 18 through 64 years of age whose frequent institutional or occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2 puts them at high risk of serious complications of COVID-19, including severe COVID-19.

This authorization currently applies only to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.

COVID-19 Positive Result & Quarantine/Isolation Protocols

If you test positive for COVID-19, Tulane Contact Tracers will help you determine appropriate next steps. Tulane Contact Tracers will also help you coordinate all the actions that need to happen on campus regarding notifications, tracing, disinfection, etc.

Employees must NOT take immediate actions, such as sending all staff home, isolating, or making quarantine decisions for themselves or others, or sending people for testing. Guidance for all necessary actions are handled by Tulane Contact Tracers.
The surveillance testing program is for asymptomatic individuals (people without symptoms of COVID-19). If you are a contact to a known case of COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 complete the online COVID-19 Reporting Form.

  • Symptomatic Testing – This testing is offered for individuals who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Students should schedule a visit through the patient portal via Campus Health. Employees should contact the Living Well Clinic or their healthcare provider. Positive cases detected through either Tulane testing or reported through the COVID-19 Reporting Form are included in our reporting numbers.
  • Close Contact Testing – Individuals, regardless of vaccination status, who are identified by Tulane Contact Tracers as close contacts should be tested immediately when identified and again 5 to 7 days after exposure. If you have not been contacted by a Tulane contact tracer but you believe you have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, DO NOT go to a testing center. You must be contacted by a Tulane contact tracer before accessing a Tulane testing center.
  • 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. Typically, a confirmed positive case is not tested again until 90 days after their initial positive test.

Fall 2021 Isolation Protocol: Isolation space is available for Residential students only. Off-campus undergraduate, graduate, and professional students should isolate in their own home. Off-campus students who need assistance finding isolation space can work with Student Resources and Support Services for options. Isolation can end on day 10, assuming the positive individual has been symptom-free, without medication, for 24 hours.

Quarantine Protocol: Unvaccinated individuals who are identified as close contacts are required to quarantine for a minimum of 7 days with a negative test on day 7, or 10 days without a test. Tulane will NOT provide quarantine space for unvaccinated individuals.

All individuals, regardless of vaccination status, who are identified as a close contact are required to test when identified and then again on day 5-7.

Contact tracers from Campus Health are immediately notified of all COVID-19 positive tests completed through the Tulane System. 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.

On Demand Testing is not currently available.