Screening and Testing Procedures for the Fall

By Jhoana T. Merino-Martinez

News Editor

The final fall plan for reopening the university, released on July 20, elaborated on the screening and testing procedures to be implemented in the fall semester. 

Before returning to campus, faculty, staff and students must fill out a questionnaire that asks if they have any symptoms, had contact with COVID-19 positive people, traveled to high-risk areas and/or any risk factors they may have themselves. 

Student athletes and resident students will be required to complete any of the following options before returning: 

  1. Show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours prior to designated return date
  2. Self-quarantine at home for 14 days (certified by a signed pledge)
  3. Quarantine on campus for 14 days before in-person instruction 

“The university is exploring the feasibility of offering on-campus testing to student-athletes who would otherwise be unable to meet the foregoing conditions in order to meet league practice requirements,” the document states. 

All members of the FDU community will need to conduct a daily self-screening via a smartphone app. Faculty and staff will have their temperature checked, in addition to this screening. If any of the symptoms are exhibited, the individual will not be able to partake in any class or campus activities. 

All visitors to FDU must be scheduled beforehand and check in at Public Safety, where they will be screened and required to show an ID. Masks and social distancing will be mandatory for those permitted on campus. 

Similarly, all vendors and contractors that have regular access to either FDU campus will be screened, and will follow mask and social distancing rules.

FDU will support testing, and testing venues will be made available in both campuses when practical, the plan says. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test with nasal swabs is approved, but not the antibody test. 

There are three circumstances (so far) where testing on campus may be permitted: 

  • Symptomatic testing for those who exhibit symptoms. Students will be isolated in their residence hall rooms until the results return. 
  • Contact testing for those that had contact with a COVID-19 positive individual, even if asymptomatic. This will follow investigations around the infected individual’s classmates and/or suitemates. 
  • Surveillance testing may be randomly ordered by FDU for both the general community or high-risk populations such as student athletes and residents. 

Laboratories contracted by the university will provide testing kits and care materials to Student Health Services in the case of mass surveillance testing, the plan states. 

“All planned testing activities outlined in this Plan are conditioned upon the reasonable availability of resources and alignment with the then-current recommendations of health authorities,” the document stated. 

“ If any of these specific measures proves impractical because of worsening conditions or other resource constraints … FDU will work with health authorities to explore and implement other appropriate measures.”

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