Because our rapid-test supplies will be limited for the first few weeks of the semester due to supplier constraints, we strongly encourage all students to be tested for COVID-19 before arriving on campus. All students will need a negative test result by Wednesday, Jan. 27.
Securing a negative test before traveling to campus will help keep the incidence rate of COVID-19 low within our campus community and surrounding area by minimizing the chance that anyone could unknowingly carry the virus to campus.
If you receive a positive test result for COVID-19 before coming to campus, please seek qualified medical care and do not come to campus until you are symptom-free and cleared to do so by an appropriate medical professional. Most classes will be available online, and you may come to campus once you are cleared by a physician to travel without putting others at risk. If you have additional questions, please contact the University’s Covid Resource Center.
Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days of returning to campus—and who have been cleared to return to school by a physician or the University’s Covid Resource Center—may provide validation of positive diagnosis (e.g. lab report or report from a healthcare provider) in lieu of a negative test result.
In some rare cases, students may have already been vaccinated for COVID-19. In these cases, a student may present documentation of vaccination in lieu of a negative test result.
Students unable to obtain a COVID-19 test before returning to campus have two options:
Option 1: Wait to travel to campus until you can be tested.
Most classes will be available online, so you can participate remotely until you can obtain a negative test result. At that point, you can travel to campus with full confidence that you are virus-free.
Option 2: Come to campus and wait until you can receive a test.
Students who choose to come to campus without a negative test, like all students, will need to follow the Four Pillars—masking, distancing, sanitizing, and reporting—and will be permitted to check into University Housing and allowed to access University Food Services and attend classes online, but will not be allowed to attend in-person classes or participate in high exposure-risk activities, such as athletics practices or performing arts (specifically vocal ensembles and wind instruments), until they obtain a negative test result.
Immediately after they became available for order last semester, the University placed a large order for rapid, asymptomatic testing kits, but our supplier has not yet been able to guarantee delivery before the semester. Based on our best available information, we expect our supply of tests to arrive within the first two weeks of the semester, but this timeline is subject to change based on supplier and shipping constraints.
Yes. Like the 2020 Fall Semester, the University has preserved enough testing capacity to assure our Covid Resource Center will have sufficient testing capability for symptomatic testing for students and employees who become ill and/or exhibit COVID-19 symptoms. Just as during the fall semester, students or employees who fall ill and/or exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms should quickly schedule an appointment to be tested at the CRC. Testing services may be paid either onsite at the time of the visit or billed to an insurance provider.
The University has ordered new state-of-the-art rapid-testing kits for asymptomatic individuals, and our supplier is working around the clock to fulfill our large order. Based on our best available information, we expect our supply of tests to arrive within the first two weeks of the semester, but this timeline is subject to change based on supplier and shipping constraints.
Yes. To protect our faculty members and campus community—especially those who are most vulnerable to complications as a result of contracting COVID-19—all students need to provide documentation of a negative COVID-19 test in order to attend in-person classes. Online classes will be available to students waiting to secure a negative test result.
Yes. All students need to provide documentation of a negative COVID-19 test before participating in any high exposure-risk activities, such as athletic practices, performing arts (specifically vocal ensembles and wind instruments), and some student jobs (such as food services or residence life). If you plan to participate in any of these high exposure-risk activities, we strongly encourage you to obtain a negative test result before arriving on campus. Please note that it may be a week or more before you can be tested locally—either on campus or elsewhere.
No. Please exercise extreme caution to protect yourself and others if you are experiencing any suspicious symptoms that could be related to COVID-19. If you have any COVID-related symptoms, please report those to your local healthcare provider and be tested as soon as possible. Avoid traveling until you are cleared to do so by a medical professional.
If you are symptom-free, please protect yourself and others while traveling by diligently following the Four Pillars—masking, distancing, sanitizing, and reporting.
We ask that you receive your test within five calendar days, at most, before arriving on or checking in on campus. For example, if you plan to check in on Jan. 19, you should be tested no earlier than Jan 14 for your negative result to be valid.
“Check-in” occurs when a student physically arrives in the local area and provides documentation of the negative COVID-19 test to a University employee who is authorized to record that information (see below list of authorized personnel).
Please email written documentation or a photo of your negative test result to an authorized University employee or department (see below list of authorized personnel). The authorized employee or department will verify that your documentation is valid and confirm the date when you physically arrive in the local area.
You may document a negative COVID-19 test result in one of two ways:
Option 1: Provide a copy or photo of the lab report or doctor’s report to an authorized University employee or department (see the approved list of authorized employees in the above paragraph).
Option 2: Sign an affidavit certifying that you have received official verbal notification of a negative test result but have not yet been able to obtain written confirmation. In this case, you must provide the location where and date when you were tested and also agree to provide written documentation or a photo confirming the earlier test to the University within two weeks of signing the affidavit. Please note that any student who falsifies an affidavit will be subject to disciplinary action, including dismissal from the University.
In cases where you receive negative test results verbally (e.g., via telephone), you may sign an affidavit certifying that you have received official verbal notification of a negative test result but have not yet been able to obtain written confirmation. In this case, you must provide the location where and date when you were tested, and also agree to provide written documentation or a photo confirming the earlier test to the University within two weeks of signing the affidavit. Please note that any student who falsifies an affidavit will be subject to disciplinary action, including dismissal from the University. (Please also see the above paragraph.)
If you are unable to secure a negative test result before traveling to campus, please inform the University of your arrival plans so we can help you schedule local testing—either on campus in our Covid Resource Center or elsewhere—before the deadline of Wednesday, Jan. 27.
Different insurances have differing policies about covering COVID-19 screening tests; however, most insurers will cover the test if a patient reports symptoms when requesting and scheduling the test. Students should check with their health insurance provider for information about their coverage.
Students may check into University Housing on Monday, Jan. 18, or Tuesday, Jan. 19. If you need to return to University Housing earlier for reasons including on-campus work responsibilities, training, or team/ensemble meetings, please coordinate with University Housing before arriving by calling 540-261-8458 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rockbridge Area Health Center
Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital
Lexington Prescription Center