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COVID-19 Testing Policy

In an effort to provide a safe learning and working environment for students and employees, St. Thomas Aquinas College has created this STAC COVID-19 Testing Policy to guide our plan for Viral Testing for the 2020-2021 Academic Year. Viral tests check to tell you if you currently have an infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

STAC will continue to provide non-invasive testing — FREE of charge — through Vault Health Inc. for all members of the College community. Please be aware that COVID-19 Viral (Molecular) Testing will be required of all students and employees that will be on campus. STAC has arranged to provide testing through Vault Health Inc. Vault Health uses a non-invasive, saliva-based, FDA EUA approved test for SARS-CoV-2. Test results will be forwarded to the STAC representative monitoring testing, and all results will be kept confidential. Failure to comply will result in appropriate disciplinary actions and appropriate public health precautions.

The STAC strategy involves three forms of testing: initial testing, ongoing testing, and symptomatic testing. These will be conducted via the following plan:

I. Initial Testing for Students, Employees, and Faculty who are Returning to Campus

The goal of initial testing is to prevent individuals who are positive for COVID-19 from returning to campus. Therefore, it is imperative that initial testing be conducted during a specific window of time prior to the individual’s return to campus. If an individual is tested too early, their results may no longer be relevant. If they are tested too late, they may not receive their results in time for their return to campus.

A. Initial Testing Process for Domestic Students and Employees/Faculty:

Domestic students are those currently residing in the United States. Employees/Faculty refers to individuals actively employed at the College.

The general timeline for initial tests should be as follows:


Initial Vault Test Steps

  1. Students and employees will receive an email from [email protected] via their STAC email containing a personal Vault link for ordering a test kit.
  2. If this is your first time that you are requesting a Vault test kit, please click the personal link. If you have requested a test kit previously, before clicking on the test kit link, please clear your cache on your web browser and then refresh your browser.  You want to make sure that any history that you have saved with the Vault has been deleted. In order for proper tracking of your results, you must use your STAC email address to order the test kit.   
  3. Vault Health will ship a test kit to the address you provide. It should arrive within 24-48 hours of your order.
  4. Once you receive the test kit, please follow the detailed instructions regarding administration of the test. You will be requested to log online for a telehealth visit and complete the saliva collection while being monitored virtually. Failure to take the test with a Vault teleprofessional will result in your test being inconclusive.
  5. Upon completion of the supervised saliva collection, please immediately mail the completed kit back using the prepaid UPS envelope. You can locate the nearest UPS Drop Off Facility using this link: UPS Drop Off Facilities.
  6. Results will be emailed to you within 48-72 hours of the testing laboratory receiving the kit. 
     

B. Initial Testing Process for International Students and Students from Non-Contiguous States:

International - A student: 

Non-Contiguous States - A student:


New York State guidelines have recently changed regarding quarantine and testing out of quarantine for these groups:

  • Failure to send your test result to the College will disqualify you from the "test out" option and you will have to complete the full quarantine. 


Further, specific communication about test timing and the testing process will be e-mailed directly to members of the STAC community.

C. What if the initial test is positive?

Students who have a positive test result will follow the direction of either STAC Health Services, STAC Telehealth, or their primary care physician and will not return to campus until cleared for return. Final clearance for students to return needs to be given by STAC Health Services. If a student receives clearance from their primary care physician or STAC Telehealth, a letter needs to be sent to STAC Health Services ([email protected]) stating that the student is cleared for return.

Employees who test positive will follow the direction of their primary care physician or other healthcare professional and will coordinate return to work with the Office of Human Resources. When an employee is cleared to return by their primary care physician, or other healthcare professional, a letter needs to be sent to the Office of Human Resources stating that the employee is cleared for return.
 

II. Random Surveillance Ongoing Testing

In accordance with our COVID-19 Testing Policy, we will conduct random surveillance testing of our campus community each week. Regular, random testing of students and employees provides the College the ability to monitor changes in the presence of the virus throughout our campus and allows us to make decisions regarding whether additional mitigation steps are required in order to prevent a possible outbreak occurring. Please note that because the testing is random, a person may be selected multiple times to be 'random tested'. 

  • Students and Employees will receive an email from [email protected] that they have been selected as a part of the random surveillance pool that must test during a specific time period.
  • On average, 10-25% of all campus community members will be tested weekly (including students and employees) by random selection.
  • Vault tests for students and employees will be provided on campus via our Walk-Up Testing Site. STAC will mail samples directly from campus to the processing lab.

 

III. Symptomatic Testing

Symptomatic Testing will be conducted when a member of the STAC Community demonstrates COVID-19 Symptoms. A COVID-19 Viral Test will be conducted. Symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Symptomatic Testing will be conducted as follows:

  1. Students will contact the Director of Health and Wellness Services, or their designee, to arrange receipt of link from Vault Health to conduct the test in a similar manner as the initial testing.
  2. Employees will contact the Director of Human Resources, or their designee, to arrange receipt of a link from Vault Health to conduct the test in a similar manner as the initial testing.

Employees and Students will follow appropriate medical guidance regarding quarantine and/or isolation.
 

IV. COVID-19 Vaccinations

Vaccine Record

  • Employees and Students will be advised they can voluntarily submit their COVID-19 Vaccination Record to the College. This information will be kept highly confidential.
  • The record will be used:
    • To determine if the person should be testing as part of the STAC COVID-19 Testing Process
    • To determine the next best steps if the person is identified as a COVID-19 Close Contact
  • Employees and Students can submit appropriate documentation through the following Form: COVID-19 Vaccination Documentation. By submitting this Form you are consenting to the College confirming your COVID-19 vaccination in the New York State Immunization Information System.


Testing After Receiving Vaccine


Close Contact Quarantine After Receiving Vaccine