Oct. 28: Important COVID Testing Information

Thank you for your support and patience through the COVID testing this semester. Your hard work has been the critical component in managing the risk on campus and taking care of each other.  

We have some important information for you about testing through November 19 and for returning in the spring. Information about testing between November 20 and December 9 will be shared with students who select to remain on campus until finals. 

Fall Semester 2020 Testing

  • The testing site will be closed on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, in honor of Election Day. Students who have a Tuesday testing assignment should test on either Monday or Wednesday. 
  • November 16 to 19 is open testing. We understand that many students’ testing needs may shift due to travel requirements. You may select your own testing day during the week of November 16-19, 2020. While the testing team will still track testing completion, it will not track adherence to your assigned testing day. If your travel plans require a proof of test result, then please complete this Documentation Request form so the medical staff at Student Health can provide assistance.
  • Please let us know if you are leaving early. The testing center team will be flexible and accommodate the needs of students who will be departing campus during the week of November 9-12, 2020. In order to support your needs, please submit this Early Departure form. Completing this form will be required to ensure the testing team is able to provide a spring pre-arrival test kit to you before departure. Students leaving campus earlier than November 9 will receive outreach from the testing team at a later date. At this time, we cannot confirm the availability of test kits before the 9th.  

Returning for the Spring Semester 2021

  • You need to pick up your spring return test kit. As you recently learned, you will receive a pre-arrival test kit to take home with you. We will have a test kit distribution station at the testing site during the last week of testing (November 16-19, 2020). Each kit will include a pre-paid mailing box, testing instructions, and a lab requisition form to be completed and mailed four days prior to your return to campus in January 2021.  
  • What happens if you lose your kit? Students who lose their college-provided pre-arrival test kit will be responsible for having a COVID-19 test conducted at home, at their own expense, and the student will be responsible for sending proof of their negative test result to the Student Health Center before being cleared to return to campus for the spring semester in January 2021. Students who would encounter a financial hardship covering the test expense should reach out to the Residence Life Office. 
  • What if you are remote now but returning to campus in the spring? In December, the testing team will mail pre-arrival test kits to students who have been studying remotely during the fall semester and will be returning to campus for the spring.  More information on that process will be provided later. 

Thank you, again, for stepping up and fulfilling your part of our shared obligation to each other. Please keep up your prevention efforts – wear a mask, wait six feet apart and wash your hands – and have a safe and enjoyable rest of the semester and return in January. 

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Oct. 23: Message to Students About Returning for the Spring Semester

We want to take a minute to provide some information about the spring semester.

First, the things we cannot control. North Carolina recently saw a one-day record increase in COVID cases for North Carolina, and the next day brought yet another record. The important indicators are pointing up, and the state leaders are projecting a hard winter in this fight.

Here's the thing: They also said if we wear masks, stay socially distant and wash our hands, then we can keep the virus in check.

And that takes us to the things we CAN control. You have proven the power of our safety guidelines. We have kept COVID at a manageable level on campus. That is how we are able to be here. We understand that has come at a price – some of the interaction and day-brightening connectivity embedded in Davidson’s DNA. Faculty and staff are working hard on ways to balance that out: Classes and office hours outside, socially distant departmental lunch tables on Chambers lawn, special Slack channels or Zoom rooms and even office hours candy…safely distributed, including by mail to students studying remotely!

We need to sustain the great work you are doing and to look ahead. It’s critical that you remain attentive to prevention when you go home and in the weeks until we return in late January. If you contract COVID, you spread it, even if you don’t have symptoms, which is the case with most students who contract it.

At one of your upcoming weekly tests, you will receive a pre-arrival COVID test kit to take home with you when you leave for the holidays. Please hang on to the kit and put it where you can find it in January. That’s when you will use it, a few days before coming back, and mail it in, similar to what we did in August.  Once you have taken that test, we strongly encourage you to stick as close to an at-home quarantine as possible.

Once you get here, we will immediately begin testing once-a-week, and we may test more frequently for the first two weeks.

During that same time, campus restrictions will be tighter than they are right now. Those guidelines haven’t been determined yet, but here’s why we need them: The greatest risk and number of cases for the campus this semester was the first few days after students returned. That’s logical. Folks are coming from everywhere. By testing, we can identify cases quickly, and tighter restrictions will keep it from spreading. We know that clouds the excitement of being back, but it’s how we will get to stay.

You didn’t ask for, nor have reason to expect, any of this. We want for you the unmatched Davidson experience you did expect, even if our circumstances require that it look different. Thank you for looking out for each other and for our community.

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