How does COVID-19 testing work, and who needs to test?
Students — Students who have completed a vaccination exemption must test weekly and will receive specific communication and calendar invitations for this purpose by August 30. Testing sessions will begin on Monday, September 6, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. in the 2021–2022 COVID Testing Center in AUC 213.
Testing will be offered on Mondays from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and on Thursdays from 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Testing Center hours will be updated as needed to respond to any changes in public-health guidance.
Students who are not able to make their scheduled testing session must secure their own COVID-19 testing that week and submit test results as soon as they receive them.
If a student tests positive, they will need to submit results to the Health Center by calling 253-535-7337. If results are received after hours, students should notify Campus Safety at 253-535-7441, and Campus Safety will then contact a Health Center provider to follow up with the student. If a student’s test is negative for COVID-19, they should email a copy of their results to the Testing Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student-athletes with exemptions will continue to participate in testing managed by Athletic Training, based on the frequency required by NCAA guidance for their sport.
Students who are partially vaccinated must participate in weekly testing until they are considered fully vaccinated, two weeks after completing their last shot.
What should I do if I have COVID symptoms?
Students — Regardless of vaccination status, students experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms should make an appointment with the Health Center to participate in testing. We will have the capacity to test symptomatic students on weekdays and will assist in identifying testing locations on the weekends. Also, LuteTelehealth—PLU’s 24/7/365 medical and mental healthcare phone and video telehealth service—is available for ongoing support and coordination of care.
If a student tests positive for COVID-19 at a testing facility that PLU does not coordinate, they should share this information with the Health Center for any follow-up that may be required for them and other members of the PLU community. Confidentiality will be maintained.
Faculty and staff — Regardless of vaccination status, employees experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms should make an appointment with their healthcare provider to participate in testing. Pierce County is offering testing at the Pierce County Covid-19 Testing Station, only six minutes away from campus. The testing station is open seven days a week.
Faculty and staff who have approved exemptions to the university’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy or are not yet fully vaccinated, will need to take a test weekly and submit the results to PLU’s EHS Manager, Mary Jones. The test should be taken on the same day of the week whenever possible. Employees are responsible for scheduling their COVID-19 test at a local testing facility or completing a test on-site at PLU.
The test site is in AUC 133 (Anderson University Center).
Mondays 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Thursdays 11:30 am – 2:00 pm (no testing on Thanksgiving Day – 11/25)
Close contact tracing (exposed individuals)
The PLU Health Center will be responsible for the initiation of contact tracing for all positive cases that are tested at the Health Center or through Proactive Community Testing events on campus. PLU will inform the Tacoma–Pierce County Health Department of all positive cases, and the TPCHD will continue to conduct county-required close contact tracing for these university community members. Contact tracing helps slow the spread of COVID-19 by identifying individuals who have been in close contact with those who test positive for the virus, and guiding them through relevant quarantine requirements and to get tested. The TPCHD has a robust team of experienced contact tracers on hand to identify and test close contacts in a timely manner. If you’ve been identified as a close contact, you will be notified and advised of next steps, potentially including a self-quarantine period.
Our success as a university begins and ends with the health of our community. This work continues with robust and rigorous vaccination and testing efforts, but also includes our individual actions as community members, such as wearing face masks, following proper hand hygiene, and social distancing. Our most effective approach to mitigation and keeping our community well involves purposeful, consistent use of all of these preventative measures by all community members.