Dear UVM Community, Thank you for your patience as we finalize our comprehensive plans for on-campus COVID-19 testing­—an essential part of the University’s strategy for a successful Fall 2020! Details in this memo include:

  • Mandatory Day-0 testing this coming week for all on-campus and off-campus students.
  • Follow-up testing through September.
  • The CoVerified app for scheduling, results, and daily health screen.
  • Student consequences for non-compliance with testing mandates.

This information is also on the Return to Campus website at On-Campus COVID-19 Testing.

Day-0 Testing—Week of Monday, August 24 to Saturday, August 29

All students must take their Day-0 test this week, before the start of classes on August 31—exceptions are noted below (see Testing—Who Is Required to Test on Campus). Off-campus students must complete their Day-0 test in order for results to be returned prior to the start of classes. The following process will be used for testing this coming week:

Resident students moving into the residence halls 

Immediately following check-in at the main desk of your residence hall and unpacking your belongings, proceed to the Davis Center for your Day-0 test. Your CATcard will be activated and we will confirm that you have completed the Green and Gold Promise and Student Health and Safety Training requirement. If you are already on campus and have undergone a round of on-campus testing, plan to arrive at the testing center 7 days after your latest UVM-sponsored test.

All off-campus students Day-0 testing, and employees registered to participate in testing

Based on the first letter of your last name, please go to the Davis Center during the following times:

Monday, August 24

9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Last names beginning with A–Bo

Monday, August 24

1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Last names beginning with Br–Da

Tuesday, August 25

9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Last names beginning with De–Ga

Tuesday, August 25

1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Last names beginning with Ge–I

Wednesday, August 26

9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Last names beginning with J–Lo

Wednesday, August 26

1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Last names beginning with Lu–Ng

Thursday, August 27

9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Last names beginning with Ni–Ri

Thursday, August 27

1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Last names beginning with Ro–St

Friday, August 28

9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Last names beginning with Su–Z

Operation times are available on Saturday, August 29 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. if you are unable to test during the date and time noted above.

Scheduling Day-7 and Subsequent Testing

Day-7 tests will begin on August 31. All students are required to schedule their Day-7 test and all subsequent tests using the CoVerified app. You can schedule a COVID-19 test on campus by selecting the “Testing” icon at the bottom of the app screen in CoVerified. You will be able to select a 30-minute block for testing.  You can schedule your testing to easily fit into your schedule.

Students should schedule their next required routine test 7 days after their last test, unless that falls on a weekend or on Labor Day.

Testing Center Location

All routine testing (often referred to as asymptomatic testing) will take place in the Burack Game Room (schematic map [pdf]) located on the lower level of the Dudley H. Davis Student Center. The Testing Center will be open the following hours beginning Monday, August 31, 2020:

Monday–Thursday: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In order to be tested, students, faculty and staff must schedule an appointment. We are unable to accommodate walk-ins. Information on scheduling an appointment is below. You should plan on 30 minutes for testing. Enter through the tent located on the west side of the Davis Center near Howe Library. Please do not enter from the Olin Atrium. Six-feet physical distancing will be strictly enforced and everyone is required to wear facial coverings, consistent with University and Vermont policy. Please do not be accompanied by others who are not testing.

Prior to entering the testing area, you will register with a Test Center assistant and be provided the sample kit. You will need to use hand sanitizer before collecting the sample, and you will need to clear your nasal cavity two times, using tissues that will be provided. Please bring your CATcard to aid in the check-in process.

CoVerified App

CoVerified—the app for students to schedule COVID-19 tests, receive results, and complete their required daily health screening—will be live soon. It is also the app that faculty and staff will use to schedule routine COVID-19 tests. You will receive information shortly with a link to download the UVM CoVerified app. If you do not have a smart phone you can contact UVM.Strong@uvm.edu to schedule a testing time.

The CoVerified app is linked to your UVM account, so you will log in using your UVM Net ID and password. This guide (pdf) will help familiarize you with CoVerified.

Test Results

For Day-0 tests, positive results will be communicated through Student Health Services; if you do not receive notification from Student Health Services within 48 hours, you can assume your test results are negative. Beginning the week of August 31, negative test results will be sent to the student, faculty, or staff member directly through the CoVerified app. Positive results will continue to be communicated to the student, faculty, or staff member by the UVM Student Health Center and will include information about isolation options, contact tracing, and quarantine measures for others who may be impacted. Information about leave options for employees is available through the Human Resource Services COVID-19 Information page.

Symptomatic Testing

If you suspect that you have symptoms of COVID-19, please stay home or in your room and call Student Health Services (656-3350) to talk to a health advisor. Student Health Services will assess your symptoms to determine if you need to get tested. If it is determined that you should be tested, you will be directed to one of two locations on campus that are set up to test individuals who suspect that they have COVID-19. You should not go to the testing location in the Davis Center.

Testing—Who Is Required to Test on Campus

All students, including employees enrolled in courses, are required to participate in the on-campus testing protocol. The only exceptions are as follows:

  • Undergraduate students who have elected the at-home option.
  • Graduate students pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree or a Certificate of Graduate Study who have elected the remote option.
  • Graduate Students enrolled in internships, practica or field courses that occur outside of Chittenden County. Contact your placement coordinator to see how to qualify.  Complete the remote option form.  Your request will be reviewed and you will be notified if approved.
  • Continuing and Distance Education Students who have elected the at-home option.
  • Third and fourth-year medical students enrolled in clinical placements.

If you believe that you should be exempted from the on-campus testing requirement for any other reason than the exemptions listed above, please submit your request. You will be notified if your request is approved.

All students are required to do a health and safety training and complete the Green and Gold Promise.

Faculty and Staff Testing

We are pleased that many faculty and staff indicated their interest in availing themselves of the on-campus testing. Testing for faculty and staff will take place in the Davis Center as described above. To schedule a test, use the CoVerified app (see above). Employees who are interested in testing must complete an on-line Employee COVID-19 test registration form by Friday, August 28, 2020 (Note the deadline has been extended). The University will use registration information to order test supplies and arrange for adequate test-site staffing. Additional information about the testing option is available in the August 12 communication regarding on-campus testing.

Student Consequences for Not Testing

Students who do not complete the required testing will be subject to the following:

For a first offense, students will be subject to a $250 fine, probation, and a requirement that the student be tested within 24 hours or be subject to additional action. Students may appeal to the Dean of Students.

For a second offense, students will receive a hearing notice, which will be held promptly (within 3 days). Students may appeal to the Dean of Students.

Typically, sanctions do not go into effect until the appeal period expires. Per the Student Code of Conduct, students have 5 days to appeal. Given the interest in health and safety, which must be balanced with due process, the Dean of Students Office may take interim administrative action, where appropriate, to restrict a student’s presence on campus during the pendency of the hearing and appeals process where there is a clear threat to campus health and safety.

Broad Institute

UVM has partnered with the Broad Institute Clinical Research Sequency Platform (CRSP) to provide routine COVID-19 testing. The CRSP SARS-CoV-2 Real-time Reverse Transcriptase (RT)-PCR Diagnostic Assay is a real-time RT-PCR test intended for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid from the SARS-CoV-2 in nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs collected from individuals. The sample collection process is an observed self-administered anterior nasal swab. Samples are packaged and shipped daily to the Broad Institute for analysis. Results are typically returned to the individual within 24 hours of the receipt of the sample at the Broad Institute.

The nasal swab process is depicted in this short video, and is described in this pdf

COVID-19 testing is one aspect of the campus strategy to reduce the risk of infection. This test was validated to be 100% accurate on even low levels of viral presence. Like all tests administered in large numbers, a small fraction of inaccurate results is still possible due to a range of individual and contextual factors (such as the presence of other infections in an individual). To guard against what is expected to be a very small number of “false negatives,” face coverings, social distancing and enhanced cleaning/disinfection routines will remain in place across all UVM facilities for the entire semester.

If you have any questions, please email UVM.Strong@uvm.edu. I want to express my deep gratitude to all members of the UVM community for your participation in this important strategy for assuring a successful fall semester 2020.

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Gary Derr
Vice President for Operations and Public Safety

PUBLISHED

08-22-2020
Gary Derr, VP for Operations and Public Safety