Dear Undergraduate Students, Graduate Students, Non-Degree Students, Medical Students and Families,

Flexibility is essential to our successful response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In that spirit, I am writing today with a new and important development: we will be providing free COVID-19 tests that students must administer, before they arrive on campus/in Burlington. This does not apply to students who have elected to take the “at-home” option.


Our comprehensive COVID-19 student testing protocol includes the following:   

Pre-Arrival Test: Day -5 (five days before arriving on campus)

Arrival Test: Day 0 (upon arrival either to move into a residence hall or, for those living off campus, the first day of classes)

Week-One Test: Day 7

Weekly Tests: Through September 18

Periodic Testing: Remainder of the Semester

Students who do not test will lose CATcard access to campus.

To support the health and wellbeing of our students and the broader community, there will be no cost to students for the required COVID-19 testing outlined in this protocol.


WHO: Pre-arrival testing requirements apply to all students: undergraduate, graduate, non-degree, and medical students who will be living, or taking classes, on campus in fall 2020 (even those living in Burlington for all or part of summer 2020). 

WHAT: The pre-arrival test is an RT-qPCR test that analyzes saliva. It will be administered by our testing partner, Vault Health.

WHY: Pre-arrival testing will enhance our evolving, comprehensive health and safety plan, and will support our efforts to prevent the introduction or spread of the virus on our campus and in our local community.

WHEN: Beginning August 4, students should check their e-mail for a code necessary to launch the pre-arrival testing process. Please consider test timing carefully to ensure that results are received before your departure for campus/Burlington:

  • Visit the Vault Health website and have the test shipped as soon as your personal code is received
  • Take and mail the test no later than 5 days before departure if living outside Burlington; for students already living in the city, this test needs to be taken by August 26
  • Students traveling to Vermont must meet any State of Vermont mandated pre-arrival quarantine requirements and must quarantine at home between the time they take the test and their departure for campus

WHERE: As part of initiating the pre-arrival test process, the student will provide an address to which a test kit will be mailed, via UPS overnight delivery.

HOW: The pre-arrival testing process is as follows:

  • Check your e-mail for a single-use test code and testing website address that will be sent to each student
  • Students will visit the testing website to launch the testing process
  • A test kit will be over-night shipped to the address indicated by the student
  • Once received, the test will be administered through a Zoom online telehealth visit with Vault testing personnel
  • Using the overnight envelope provided, return the sample

Medical or logistical questions related to the test itself should be directed to the email address that appears in the instructions that will accompany the test kit.

Other questions should be directed to


Students will be notified of the results within 72 hours (24 hours in many cases) by either an encrypted process or, if selected on the Vault website, by unencrypted email. The University will also be notified of the results, which will be reported as positive, negative, inconclusive, or rejected.

If your test results are positive, you should stay home and delay your arrival until you have isolated for 10 days. You will be notified of your new arrival date. If your delay results in missed in-person classes, your Dean’s Office will work with you to address your course work needs.      

If your test results are inconclusive or rejected, you should proceed to campus/Burlington as planned and observe any required quarantining responsibilities upon arrival.


Students traveling to campus/Burlington must quarantine between the time they take the test and when they depart for campus.

All pre-established quarantine requirements and restrictions established by the Vermont Department of Health apply prior to arrival and upon arrival on campus/in Burlington, regardless of pre-arrival test results. If it was earlier determined that you need to quarantine upon arrival, you should both (1) take the pre-arrival test described above, and (2) proceed with quarantine plans. For some students, this will mean taking the pre-arrival test as early as August 9 before the August 14 on-campus quarantine arrival date.

Please remember to select your pre-arrival testing date carefully to ensure you receive results before departure for Burlington or for off-campus students prior to the first day of classes.

I understand that this is an additional responsibility during an already busy time. I hope you will embrace this opportunity to support a safe and healthy on-campus educational experience.

Rally together,

Patricia A. Prelock
Provost and Senior Vice President


Patricia Prelock, Provost and Sr VP