The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Mandatory testing to begin Aug. 31 for all undergraduates authorized to be on-campus

Provost Susan R. Wente said in an email today that all undergraduate students, whether living on or off campus, must be tested once per week unless they opted for remote-only study.
Wyatt Center on Commons. (Hustler Multimedia/Photographer Unknown)

UPDATED: This article was updated Aug. 28 to include an email from the University Registrar with the logistics surrounding COVID-19 testing registration.

Mandatory weekly testing will be implemented starting Aug. 31, per an email sent by Provost Susan R. Wente at approximately 10 a.m. CDT this morning.

All undergraduate students, whether they live on or 0ff campus, must go to the Recreation and Wellness Center between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday, to get tested every week.

Under this new protocol, the university expects to process about 1,000 tests per day starting next week. The university is also continuing to expand surveillance testing of graduate and professional students, per Wente’s email.

Based on the analysis of our public health experts, we believe enhanced weekly testing, paired with our rigorous contact tracing, will provide another key lever in our efforts to do everything we can to prevent the spread of this virus,” Wente said in the email. “In particular, as we conducted universal early testing, we identified many asymptomatic positive students, and, as we said we would, we are adapting plans to reflect this new information. This weekly testing will allow us to better and more quickly identify asymptomatic positive cases and localized clusters within our campus community.”

An Aug. 28 email from the Office of the University Registrar was sent to students, explaining the process to register for a weekly one-hour time-slot. The email noted that additional slots would not be provided to students, and after Sept. 1, students would not be allowed to change their time-slot. Students are expected to register on the Your Enrollment Services (YES) portal using course designation UNIV 0099, per the email.

“Students must enroll in a weekly testing time block no later than 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 1, and enrollment must allow for a test to be taken the week of Aug. 31,” the Registrar’s email stated.

The Registrar also noted that students who had received previous positive COVID-19 tests “through the pre-arrival or arrival testing process through Vault, or at Student Health since the semester started” are exempt from testing for the following three months after the initial positive test.

“Medical professionals in the PHCCC will review the proof of your previous results and confirm your exempt status. The results of antibody tests will not be accepted,” the Registrar’s email said.

Wente’s email stated the students who provide information during contact tracing about their possession or use of alcohol or other drugs, or prior violation of Vanderbilt’s COVID-19 protocols will be eligible for immunity from university disciplinary action.

“A student who has not been honest with the contact tracers about relevant contacts will be subject to the Student Accountability process,” according to Wente’s email.

Students who test positive, as well as close contacts of those students, must isolate and quarantine accordingly, per the email. The email also suggests that students create a checklist of necessary items that they may need in the event of a move to isolation housing.

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