Update on UMassD COVID-19 Testing Policy

UMass Dartmouth has developed a robust asymptomatic surveillance testing program for the fall semester

Fall 2020 Re-opening plan banner

Hello everyone,

Following updated guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health COVID-19 Higher Education Control Plan and the UMass President's Office, UMass Dartmouth has developed a robust asymptomatic surveillance testing program for the fall semester.

All UMass Dartmouth students and faculty that visit campus regularly will be tested weekly. All staff who have student-facing positions will also be tested weekly (e.g. the Bursar’s Office, Health Services, and Dining Services). It is anticipated that we will conduct as many as 4,500 tests on campus every week.

Working through the UMass System, we have contracted with Clinical Research Sequencing Platform​ (CRSP), LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Broad Institute, Inc. The vendor will deliver test kits and pick up specimens each day. We anticipate results within 24​ ​- 48 hour​s of pickup. An on-campus team is currently developing the final testing logistics, including identifying student-facing positions​, testing locations, and availability. Please note that test results will be available to the individual, healthcare providers in Health Services, and reported directly to the Department of Public Health. All these systems and procedures are fully HIPAA/FERPA compliant.

Any faculty, staff, or student who tests positive for COVID-19 will be required to self-isolate—even if they are asymptomatic—and will be required to follow the instructions of Health Services, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Local Board of Health. Contact tracing will be done by the Local Board of Health in collaboration with Health Services and the Community Tracing Collaborative. Any faculty, staff, or student who is identified as a close contact will be required to quarantine for 14 days and referred for testing. A close contact is any individual within 6 feet of a laboratory-confirmed or probable COVID-19 patient for at least 15 minutes.

It is vitally important that all faculty, staff, and students who are included in an identified population cooperate with all instructions. ​This will include signing an informed consent form and providing the demographic and personal information that is required for testing and contact tracing.

Surveillance testing is one of many components in the campus’s overall health and safety plan. ​The test is only valid for the point in time that it is taken and does not eliminate the need to comply with other mitigation strategies. Other strategies​ include mandatory face coverings, social distancing ​of a minimum of 6 feet, testing and monitoring ventilation systems, vigorous attention to handwashing and other hygiene, ​completing the daily symptom checklist, cleaning and disinfecting of facilities and especially of frequently touched surfaces, and the installation of physical barriers in locations where face-to-face contact is unavoidable.

Information about additional specific safety protocols will be issued as they are finalized. As always, please review our Planning for Fall 2020 website for more information. If you have questions or comments, please send them to corona.virus@umassd.edu.

Sincerely,

 

Mark Preble, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Vice Chancellor for Talent & Chief Diversity Officer

 

Marianne Sullivan, DNP, ANP-BC

Director of Health Services



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