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Faculty and Staff Testing and Related Protocols

Testing | Test Kits | Sick or Symptomatic EmployeesTesting Positive/Isolation | Close Contacts/Contact Tracing


Students, faculty, and staff are not required to test for COVID-19 during the spring 2023 semester, except if they are experiencing symptoms, or if they are identified as a close contact of someone who has COVID-19, in which cases they must test. Faculty and staff who receive a positive test result should contact the COVID-19 Employee Test Team (CETT) at and Human Resources at benefits@swarthmore.eduThey should also alert their supervisor.

We will continue to monitor the changing circumstances and adjust our policies and protocols accordingly, including  returning to required testing if needed.

Test Kits

In the fall, the College provided up to five test kits to students, faculty, and staff who requested them. Demand for those tests in the fall was very low. That, combined with the fact that test kits are readily available at most pharmacies and other locations, we are no longer providing free test kits.

As a reminder, you may order free at-home COVID-19 tests through the federal government. You may also purchase test kits at the Campus and Community Store (where they’re being sold at cost). Your insurance carrier may reimburse the cost of COVID-19 test kits. Please check with your insurance company for more information. 

You are encouraged to keep one rapid test kit at home, regardless of whether you plan to continue optional testing. This ensures that, should you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19, you have an available test.

Sick or Symptomatic Employees

Any employee who is feeling sick or who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 that are above and beyond typical symptoms associated with known chronic medical conditions must not report to work on campus. The employee should notify their supervisor and CETT at The supervisor must notify Human Resources as soon as possible by emailing (Note: While you are required to notify the College that you cannot come to work, you are not required to share your diagnosis. However, promptly notifying the College that you have tested positive for COVID-19 allows the College to perform contact tracing for the safety of the College community.) 

Human Resources will follow-up with the employee to provide further instructions, including benefits and leave information. The supervisor will be notified of the employees’ status as appropriate, to ensure they are able to arrange adequate coverage. 

Employees should immediately consult with their health care provider and take precautionary measures as directed by the CDC. Employees should consult with Human Resources about their return to work date, as recommended by their physician.

Testing Positive/Isolation

Faculty and staff members who test positive for COVID-19, with either a College-provided test or through a test obtained on their own, are required to immediately notify the COVID-19 Employee Test Team (CETT) at and Human Resources at  

The CETT team will follow up with faculty and staff members to track their improvement and determine their date of return to campus.

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 must not come to campus and must isolate for at least five days, with the first day being the first full day after either (A) you tested positive for COVID-19, or (B) your symptoms developed, whichever came first.

  • For example, if you test positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday and immediately begin to isolate, Thursday is considered your first full day of isolation.  

Faculty and staff members who test positive and who DO NOT have symptoms may end isolation after five full days following the day of the positive test. (In the example above, the individual would be able to return to work on campus on Tuesday.) Asymptomatic employees who test positive and who are able to work remotely should do so when possible and in coordination with their supervisor.

If you test positive WITH symptoms, you may end isolation after at least five full days IF: 

  • You are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, AND,
  • Your symptoms have improved enough to return to work with no remaining respiratory symptoms (nasal congestion, cough, sore throat).

If symptoms persist, you must continue to isolate. Please be aware that faculty and staff will need to mask indoors on day 6-10.

Close Contacts/Contact Tracing

Faculty and staff members who are identified as a close contact due to exposure while at work will be notified through the College’s contact tracing protocols. If a faculty or staff member is notified that they’re a close contact due to exposure outside of the College, they are required to immediately notify CETT at and Human Resources at CETT will provide information on additional testing requirements and quarantine.

The CETT team will contact faculty and staff members who are identified as close contacts. A close contact is generally defined as someone who was less than six feet away from an infected person for 15 minutes or more and, during that time, if either of the individuals were unmasked.

More information on contact tracing guidelines can be found here.