August 5, 2020

COVID-19 Testing Plan

Dear Goucher community,

Goucher College understands the critical need for COVID-19 testing. As such, the college, working with public health experts, has created a dual-modality testing plan for those students returning to campus. Testing for the COVID-19 virus is required for all students prior to their arrival to campus. The dual-modality testing plan includes a combination of RT-PCR (Reverse-Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) saliva-based testing and wastewater (sewage) testing.

All students who are approved to live on campus will be required to test and provide results for a COVID-19 test. The college will pay for pre-arrival testing hosted through Vault Health using a saliva-based RT-PCR test. Students will be responsible for following the Vault Health testing process and following the timeline outlined in the college’s COVID-19 Testing Plan. Students also have the option of choosing to have the testing completed elsewhere, and valid test results performed within five days of arrival must be provided prior to move-in. For those students who are unable to complete pre-arrival testing, they will need to be tested immediately upon arriving at campus and must quarantine in their rooms on campus until their results are received.

Additionally, post-arrival testing for all on-campus students will take place one week after students have arrived on campus. This will help to identify any occurrence of the SARS-CoV2 on campus. This testing will be a PCR test using an anterior (shallow) nasal swab performed by the Student Health Center.

Throughout the semester, symptomatic testing will be available for all students who begin experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Close contact testing will also take place for any persons diagnosed with COVID-19.

Goucher will also be utilizing wastewater testing as a method of early detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus on campus. An increased presence of the virus in campus wastewater may trigger testing of specific populations or residence halls residents via RT-PCR tests.

In an effort to stay up-to-date on the evolving information known about the SARS-CoV-2 virus, Goucher will continue to monitor and update our testing plan accordingly. Please continue to visit our Return to Campus website for the latest updates.

Be well.