Dear Faculty and Staff,
I’m writing to provide a brief overview of our testing plan in the spring. As shared last month with the campus community, we will be conducting PCR self-collected saliva testing. Faculty and staff members will be able to collect their saliva sample by themselves in their office or at home and then turn the sample in at the campus testing center for processing on the appointed day. The summary below details the frequency of testing for faculty and staff and how the process will work. Additional instructions will be available next month.
Covid-19 Testing for Faculty and Staff
Frequency of Testing Protocol for Faculty and Staff
Twice per week testing:
Once per week testing:
No testing required for:
When will I test?
The testing center will be open Monday–Friday, 7 a.m.–3 p.m. Scheduling information will be sent to the Puget Sound community via email in early January 2021.
Where will I test?
Please collect your sample at home or in your office to reduce lines at the testing pavilion drop-off site, which will be located in a tent on the event lawn between Thomas Hall and Warner Gym. It will be open to Puget Sound students, faculty and staff members only.
How are students being tested?
Testing is mandatory for students and will take place in the testing pavilion. All students, living both on and off campus in the Tacoma area, will be tested twice a week for COVID-19. Students who are living in Tacoma and the surrounding areas and are taking courses remotely are required to participate in the testing program if they will be interacting with the campus community.
How are student-athletes being tested?
Student-athletes are required to test at least twice a week. Athletes may be required to test more frequently depending on the sport they are participating in and whether that sport is in season or not.
How long will it take to get results, and how will campus community members be notified?
Test results will be available within 24-48 hours. Community members will be able to access their test results through an online portal system. More information about this online system will be provided in January.
Can students, faculty or staff members opt out of testing?
Campus community members are not required to test if they are working or attending classes completely remotely with no in-person Puget Sound community engagement at all. This includes students who are living out of state or who live far enough away that they will not come to campus or engage in person with any Puget Sound community member.
Are the saliva tests more or less effective than the nasal swab tests?
Saliva PCR tests are equally effective as nasal swab PCR tests.
Will Puget Sound administer vaccines?
A limited quantity of vaccines is being made available in Washington state beginning this week for use by health care workers and those in long-term care facilities. We don’t have information yet about the availability of vaccines on campus.
Please look for additional information in early January. Information is also available at pugetsound.edu/spring2021, and we will host a town hall meeting on testing Wednesday, 10–11 a.m. to respond to your questions. Information about joining the meeting is posted at pugetsound.edu/covid19internal.
Kelly K. Brown, Ph.D. | Director
Counseling, Health, and Wellness Services