Dear students, faculty, and staff,
Earlier today, a commuter student participating in our testing program received a positive result for COVID-19. The student is isolated at home, remains symptom-free, and is doing well. The student only visited the testing center in Woodland Commons and the local board of health from the student’s place of residence is doing contact tracing. At this time, I want to remind you of the protocols when UMassD Health Services directly contacts someone who tests positive.
- For residential students, they will be moved to specific residence halls and rooms on campus that we have set up to allow individuals to quarantine and/or isolate should they be required. These students will be fully supported with dining services, counseling, health services, and academic advising. If that student wants to return to their primary place of residence, we will help facilitate safe travel. We will then conduct contact tracing in collaboration with the local board of health to identify and notify any close contacts.
- For commuter students, they cannot quarantine and/or isolate themselves on campus. We will work with these students to facilitate their quarantine and/or isolation at their off-campus place of residence. These students will be supported with counseling, health services, and academic advising. The student's local board of health will conduct contact tracing to identify and notify any close contacts.
- For faculty and staff, they will quarantine and/or isolate at home, participate in contact tracing through their local board of health, contact their primary care provider, and notify HR.
Before receiving our first positive result, we administered 1,729 tests. As we work through this process, we have made adjustments that have streamlined our workflow and decreased the time it takes for a test to be administered. With such robust testing and participation, we expect more positive cases throughout the semester. Further positive cases will be reported through our regularly updated dashboard on our COVID-19 Testing website. Going forward, positive results will not be reported via email, but rather through the testing dashboard.
These tests are easy to schedule and complete. The testing center in Woodland Commons is open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4:50 pm. Remember, residential students cannot be tested on Fridays. Also, you need to show a completed daily COVID-19 symptom tracker before being admitted for testing. This brief checklist can be completed on a computer or your phone through the Health Services Patient Portal where you also schedule your testing appointment.
A quick, non-invasive, self-administered nasal swab is all it takes. Results will be sent directly to you from CareEvolve and anyone who tests positive or has an invalid test will be contacted by UMassD Health Services. If you have had a positive COVID-19 test in the last 90 days, you cannot be retested.
Testing, daily symptom monitoring, staying home if ill, wearing facial coverings, social distancing, good hand hygiene, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces are vital to stopping the spread of COVID-19. Remember, we all must participate in these safety measures to ensure the overall health of our community.
Marianne Sullivan, DNP, ANP-BC
Director of Health Services
Special Assistant to the Chancellor for COVID Preparations