All members of the Puget Sound community living, working, or taking classes on campus this spring will participate in pooled saliva testing at least once a week to help keep our community safe.
What Is Pooled Testing?
Puget Sound has partnered with Mirimus Laboratories to provide COVID-19 surveillance testing for asymptomatic students, faculty members, and staff members using a saliva-based PCR pooled testing system. This system enables frequent, high-quality, high-volume testing to help us monitor the campus population, identify potential infection within our community, and quickly take action to reduce and contain potential outbreaks.
Regular testing of asymptomatic individuals leads to viral detection in those who may not be experiencing any symptoms. Research has shown that people without symptoms who have the virus are able to spread the infection to others. In fact, a person may be at the highest risk for transmitting the virus one to two days before they develop symptoms. When a student tests positive for COVID-19, our contact tracing, quarantine, and isolation procedures will be activated.
Testing Protocols and Instructions
Students, faculty members, and staff members are required to complete a daily online COVID-19 health self-screening before coming to campus, or for those living on campus, before leaving their campus residence. Those who identify as having symptoms of COVID-19 will not be cleared to be on campus (or if already on campus, to engage in campus activities), and will be referred for medical evaluation.
Who Should Participate in Pooled Testing (and Who Should Not)?
- Students will test twice weekly, on nonconsecutive days, at the testing pavilion located on the Event Lawn. To help reduce congestion in the testing pavilion, students should schedule their testing in one-hour time blocks by visiting pugetsound.edu/scheduletest.
- Faculty and staff members will test according to the criteria below. To reduce the density of people at the testing pavilion, faculty and staff members will collect their samples at home or elsewhere and drop them off at the testing pavilion.
Twice per week: Faculty and staff members are required to test twice weekly if they provide in-person services to the Puget Sound community (such as those teaching in-person classes or working in dining, facilities, security, the mail room, residence halls, or other positions with in-person interactions) two or more days per week.
Once per week: Faculty and staff members are required to test once weekly if they provide in-person services to the Puget Sound community fewer than two days a week. In addition, faculty and staff members who are on campus three or more times a week without providing in-person services are required to test once weekly.
No testing required: Faculty and staff members are not required to participate in campus asymptomatic testing if they work entirely remotely or come to campus fewer than three times per week and do not provide in-person services or otherwise interact with the community.
- DO NOT participate in pooled testing if you have experienced any of the following symptoms:
- fever or chills
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- muscle or body aches
- new loss of taste or smell
- sore throat
- congestion or runny nose
- nausea or vomiting
- close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the past two weeks
- DO NOT participate in pooled testing if you have tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days.
What To Do If You Are Experiencing Symptoms
- STUDENTS: Contact Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an individual test.
- FACULTY/STAFF: Contact your primary care provider or Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department to schedule an individual test.
Collecting Your Sample
- DO NOT eat, drink, smoke, chew gum, or brush your teeth at least 30 minutesprior to testing.
- DO NOT use mouthwash for at least two hours prior to testing.
- DO fill your test tube at least halfway for accurate processing.
- DO NOT forcefully blow when collecting your sample to avoid creating bubbles.
- To help reduce congestion in the testing pavilion, students should schedule their testing in one-hour time blocks by visiting pugetsound.edu/scheduletest.
To help reduce congestion in the testing pavilion, students should schedule their testing in one-hour time blocks by visiting pugetsound.edu/scheduletest.
PRINTABLE STUDENT INSTRUCTIONS (PDF) PRINTABLE FACULTY/STAFF INSTRUCTIONS (PDF)
DO NOT eat, drink, smoke, chew gum, or brush your teeth at least 30 minutes prior to testing. DO NOT use mouthwash for at least two hours prior to testing.
Open the straw pouch and remove the straw.
Unscrew the tube cap and insert the narrow end of the straw into the tube.
Pool saliva in your mouth, and let it fall through the straw into the tube. Do not blow forcefully to avoid bubbles.
Make sure the tube is filled at least halfway, then remove and discard the straw and securely cap the tube.
STUDENTS: Wipe the tube with the alcohol wipe provided, and place your tube in the collection tray for your testing pool.
FACULTY/STAFF: Clean the tube with the alcohol wipe provided, place it into the bag, and seal the bag. Legibly write your name and campus ID number on the label in your kit and apply it securely to the bag.
FACULTY/STAFF: Drop your sealed and labeled sample at the Faculty/Staff Drop-off in the testing pavilion, Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–6 p.m. If you do not work during this time, make arrangements to have a department delegate deliver your sample for you.
COVID-19 Testing Pavilion
The testing pavilion is located on the Event Lawn between Thomas Hall and Warner Gym.
8:30 a.m.–6 p.m.
8:30 a.m.–3 p.m.
Accessing Your Results
Each day’s testing pools will be shipped to the Mirimus lab at the end of the day, and should arrive by 10 a.m. the following morning. Your results should be posted within 24–48 hours after samples arrive at the lab. Samples collected or dropped off after 3 p.m. will be shipped to the lab the following business day.
PRINTABLE RESULTS INSTRUCTIONS (PDF)
Get Your Results:
- Go to pugetsound.edu/testresults.
- Log in using your campus ID number, located on your LoggerCard. You must enter the full 10-digit number, including preceding zeros.
What Your Results Mean
- Not Detected: Your pool has cleared, and you may continue your campus activities.
- Processing: Testing of your pool is not yet complete.
- Detected: COVID-19 was detected in your pool. This does not necessarily mean that you are positive.
- Inconclusive: For some reason, the samples in your pool need to be retested.
- Invalid: The lab was not able to process your sample. This could be due to not enough saliva in the sample, food debris or phlegm in the sample, etc. Return to the testing pavilion at your earliest convenience to repeat your test.
If your result is "Detected," you may be part of a pool in which someone has tested positive for COVID-19. If that's the case, you will be contacted by text and email, and you must stay home and limit your contact with others (social distance, wear a mask, etc.) until you receive further test results.
- STUDENTS: You should remain in your room, wear a mask while awake, and avoid spending time with others. You may visit campus dining locations wearing a mask to pick up grab-and-go items to eat in your room. You will receive more information about your results within 24 hours of receiving the "Detected" result.
- FACULTY/STAFF: In addition to staying home (working remotely, if possible) and limiting your contact with others, please notify your supervisor, so coverage may be arranged as your pool is further processed. You will receive more information about your results within 24 hours of receiving the "Detected" result.
If 72 hours has passed since your pool should have arrived at the lab, and your results still show as “Processing,” that does not necessarily mean that you are part of a pool in which someone has tested positive for COVID-19. Please contact CHWS at email@example.com to resolve the issue.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT TEST RESULTS