Screening and Testing

All students will be required to take a COVID-19 test provided by the College within 24 hours of arriving on campus, and we expect our health care provider to return test results within 48 hours. All campus community members will be required to participate in mandatory testing, regardless of symptoms, on a recurring basis starting in mid-September. Daily screening for everyone -– students, faculty and staff –- will be done using a "Daily Health Check" website developed by our health partners. Participation in this mandatory ongoing screening and testing will play a crucial role in mitigating any potential spread of the virus in our community. 

The College has adopted mandatory, regular health screening practices of students, faculty and staff. Student and employee screening is conducted daily before individuals report in-person to the campus, using an electronic app developed by Cayuga Health System. Visitors coming to campus must complete the screening app questionnaire 24 hours prior to their arrival. The screening app is accessible by mobile phone or personal computer.

Any student who receives a positive COVID-19 test result or who is experiencing severe COVID-like symptoms, and who does not wish to return home, will be provided with an isolation room and daily meals. We are committed to providing daily support and care for students who have to go into isolation, and our staff will help identify any academic, medical, food, or mental health support needs, and arrange for the appropriate services to be provided. 

In addition, by law we are required to report any positive test results to the Cayuga County Health Department, which will manage the contact tracing that is required with assistance from the College and the College’s Community Medical Center.

Wells College strongly recommends that all students obtain a molecular diagnostic (PCR) test for COVID-19 and to self-quarantine within 14 days prior to their departure for campus. Subsequent testing will be required for students, faculty and staff who report COVID-19 symptoms or report having been exposed to someone testing positive, when recommended through the daily screening process conducted by the Cayuga Medical Center personnel who are assigned to evaluate screening results. The College has contracted with Cayuga Health System (CHS) of Ithaca, N.Y., to conduct all on-campus testing activities for the 2020–21 academic year. 

FAQs: Screening and Testing

Screening

How will the daily screening process work for members of the campus community?
The College has adopted mandatory, regular health screening practices of students, employees, and scheduled visitors, as follows (such screening is not mandated for delivery personnel):
1. Student screening is conducted daily before leaving for class or activities, using the same electronic app developed by Cayuga Health System.
2. Employee screening is conducted daily before the employee reports in-person to the campus, using an electronic app developed by Cayuga Health System. The screening app is accessible by mobile phone or personal computer.
3. Screening for both students and employees uses a web-based questionnaire that determines whether the individual has:

  • knowingly been in close or proximate contact in the past 14 days with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who has or had symptoms of COVID-19;
  • tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days;
  • has experienced any symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 14 days, and/or
  • has travelled to any of the states or countries listed by New York State or the CDC as a restricted area.

What happens if an individual does not pass the screening process?
Any individual who reports exposure to or symptoms of COVID-19 during screening is required to stay home and not report to work or class, or is immediately sent home, to their residence, or to the designated quarantine or isolation location, and will be  provided with instructions or arrangements to obtain a health assessment and testing, as required.

What is our screening policy for guests and visitors?
Visitors coming to campus must complete the screening app questionnaire 24 hours prior to their arrival. Each campus office is responsible for making sure to provide a link to the app for their visitors, and also must keep a log of such visits. Off-campus guests coming to visit a current student may not enter a residence hall; please see the “Housing” section for more details.

Testing

Should students be tested for COVID-19 prior to arrival on campus?
Wells College strongly recommends that all students obtain a molecular diagnostic (PCR) test for COVID-19 and to self-quarantine within 14 days prior to their departure for campus. We have not made pre-departure testing a requirement because many students will be unable to obtain the COVID-19 test in their local community or will not be able to pay the cost of asymptomatic testing that is not covered by insurance. Students who test positive or experience COVID-19 symptoms are required to stay home until cleared by their health-care provider to come to campus, and must provide documentation of such to the Office of Student Affairs.

Will COVID-19 testing be available on campus?
Yes. The College has contracted with Cayuga Health System (CHS) of Ithaca, N.Y., to conduct all testing activities for the 2020–21 academic year. CHS is the largest health-care system in the Ithaca region and is also providing COVID-19 testing for other institutions in the area. Monthly "surveillance testing" of non-sympomatic individuals will begin on or around Sept. 17, 2020.

How quickly will students get their test results?
Our health care partner, Cayuga Health System, expects to return results within 24 to 48 hours. CHS will also provide testing on an ongoing basis throughout the year. If deemed appropriate, batch processing of test samples and/or different types of testing may be used to expedite the return of results.

Will students be tested upon their arrival on campus?
All students were required to be tested upon arrival to campus for the start of the fall 2020 term. Subsequent testing is required for students, faculty and staff who report COVID-19 symptoms or report having been exposed to someone testing positive, when recommended through the daily screening process conducted by the Cayuga Health personnel who are assigned to evaluate screening results.

Will students be tested on an ongoing basis? What about faculty and staff?
All members of the campus community — students, faculty and staff — are required to participate in daily screening as well as mandatory testing throughout the academic year that includes testing upon arrival for and group testing for students, faculty and staff. Failure to comply is defined as a conduct violation for both students and employees. Parental permission is required for students who are under age 18. The College will provide individuals testing positive for COVID-19 with information on health care and support resources.

Which laboratory will be processing COVID-19 tests?
Cayuga Health System partners with the laboratory of Cayuga Medical Center, the hospital in Ithaca, to perform analysis of COVID-19 test results. The laboratory is a CLIA- and CLEP-certified entity that is approved to perform the required test analysis.

Do students, faculty and staff have to pay for on-campus COVID tests?
Unless and until funding sources from the state, federal or health insurance providers are identified, Wells College will be paying the cost of COVID-19 testing for all Wells students and for any employee testing that is not covered under the employee’s health insurance plan.

How will individuals tested on campus be notified of the result?
The Cayuga County Department of Health (CCDH) will be notified of all positive COVID-19 test results, either through the reporting required by the laboratory where results are obtained or by the College — and often by both entities. The Office of the Dean of Students is responsible for reporting positive test results for students to the CCDH; the Office of Human Resources is responsible for reporting positive test results for employees. In situations where individuals are exhibiting significant COVID-19 symptoms but have received a negative test result, continued monitoring of symptoms by the College’s Community Medical Center or the employee’s own health-care provider will be required.


This page was last updated Sept. 7, 2020.

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