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Faculty & Staff Testing, Contact Tracing, and Monitoring Process

The goal of the Faculty & Staff Testing, Contact Tracing, and Monitoring Process is to help maintain a stable, healthy environment and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus. We will continue to assess and update our testing procedures as necessary based on the latest information and developments in testing methods. 

Required Testing | Test Plan | Test Procedure | Positive Tests | Contact Tracing | Returning to Work on Campus After Testing Positive | Communicating Testing and Results | Daily Self-Monitoring | Mailed Testing Kits

Required COVID-19 Testing

Effective Aug. 31, faculty and staff (employees) working on campus at least one day a week will be considered part of the employee Test Group and will be required to complete COVID-19 testing once a week. Employees who come to campus less than once per week must receive a negative test result within seven days before coming onto campus, regardless of how long they will be on campus or if they anticipate interacting with others on campus. (See below for more details.) The testing will continue until the College ends its modified operations designed to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

Test Plan

The College has partnered with Everlywell, Inc. to help facilitate our testing process. Everlywell will supply the College with test kits and will collect and analyze the tests. These tests will be self-administered by employees at a designated campus location (we are currently planning to use Scheuer Room). To perform the tests, employees will perform a shallow nasal swab, similar to the demonstration in this Everlywell video. [Please note that the labeling information mentioned in this video does not pertain to Swarthmore employees. Labeling and shipping will be provided on campus].

An internal COVID-19 Employee Test Team (CETT) of trained individuals has been assembled to address any employee questions, monitor test taking, and to ensure adherence with the protocols for testing and contract tracing. Members of the team include staff from Environmental Health and Safety, Public Safety, the Department of Athletics, and nurse advisors from the Health Center. 

Test Procedure

  • Please schedule your weekly test via the CETT appointment Google scheduler. Each appointment window will automatically link to your Google calendar. The standard testing location is currently Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall.
    • The College will confirm your testing time and location via email.
    • Please provide for at least 20-30 minutes to complete your first appointment.
    • Some departments are scheduling staff testing centrally. Before you schedule your recurring test, please check with your manager to see if you have already been assigned a specific day and time for testing.Testing will occur on campus each day Mondays through Thursdays, with limited appointments on Fridays for employees who require them.
    • CETT members will be on site during testing to answer questions about taking the test and to ensure the test site is configured for employee privacy. CETT members are also responsible for the collection and shipment of the tests.
    • If you wish to pick up your test and self-administer it elsewhere on campus, you may do so. You should pick up your test at your scheduled time and return it to Scheuer Room by 3 p.m. the same day. 
    • Alternative testing arrangements will be made for any employee scheduled to work only on Saturdays, and/or Sundays. 
    • If an employee is absent from work on their designated test date they will be asked to schedule a test on the next available test date.
    • Please note that if you have tested positive for COVID-19, you will be excluded from this process, since a fully recovered individual will likely still test positive for some time, long after they are contagious. If you received a positive test outside of the College’s testing protocols, please contact Teri Maguire, tmaguir1@swarthmore.edu. If you receive a positive test through the College’s protocols, we will notify you that you no longer need to be testing on a regular basis. (Note: 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.)
  • After performing the test, employees will return to their worksite, if they have not completed their scheduled work for the day. 
  • The CETT is responsible for collecting tests from employees and ensuring that UPS pickup takes place as required. 
  • Employees will receive test results via an online portal, typically within two to three days of taking the test (excluding Sundays).
    • The College will provide instructions on how to access the online portal, including how to opt for an email or text message notification when results are available. 
  • For consistency of test results, we encourage faculty and staff on the weekly testing schedule to choose the same day and time each week throughout the semester if possible. If you cannot make a previously scheduled appointment, please arrange with CETT to come take the test on your next work day. If the period of time from your last test exceeds 14 days, you will be asked to take a COVID-19 home test prior to returning to campus.
  • Beginning Aug. 31, employees who come to campus less than once per week must receive a negative test result within seven days before coming onto campus, regardless of how long they will be on campus or if they anticipate interacting with others on campus. Employees should plan their schedules accordingly. For these employees, test kits may be mailed to the employee upon request and at the College’s discretion. Please complete this form to request a mailed test kit. (If you anticipate needing a mailed test kit prior to Sept. 14, contact CETT@swarthmore.edu.)
  • If you do not anticipate being on campus but want to have a single test kit on hand in case you need to come to campus at some point, you can request one to be mailed to you in September. Again, you must have negative test results within seven days (one week) before coming to campus.
  • Employees who are on-call or may need to come to campus on short notice should participate in weekly testing, even if their work would not otherwise require them to come to campus on a weekly basis. We will mail up to four tests, as needed, via UPS or FedEx. While on-campus testing is preferred, supervisors can request that weekly test kits be mailed to employees who don’t typically come to work weekly but may need to arrive on short notice. Supervisors should contact CETT@swarthmore.edu for this option..
  • Although visitors are generally not permitted on campus this semester, non-employee visitors or vendors essential for a course to be offered, or who are assisting with the academic mission or providing specified support to one or more students may request approval first by the academic department chair, program coordinator, or administrative department head and then  must receive a negative test result within seven days (one week) before coming onto campus. Final approval from the relevant member of President’s Staff will be required; for academic departments and programs, this means approval by the Provost’s Office. This provision includes non-employees who are authorized by departments to work with students in person. We typically cannot mail tests to non-employees. They should procure a test on their own from any vendor offering a nasal or nasopharyngeal swab COVID-19 test. The College will reimburse the cost of such tests up to $150. Such guests should keep a copy of their receipt and negative test result to show the appropriate academic department chairs or administrative department heads, who can then submit the receipt for reimbursement.
    • Note that vendors/visitors who are not working with students do not need to provide negative test results. Such individuals still require approval of the appropriate member of President’s Staff; for academic departments and programs, this means approval by the Provost’s Office. The academic department chair, program coordinator, or administrative department head should ensure that vendors know they are required to wear masks and observe physical distancing, and precautions should be taken to minimize their interactions.
  • “Affiliate” status may be granted to certain regular, non-employee service providers that will grant them a College-issued ID and allow them to participate in the College’s testing program. Academic department heads or administrative unit heads may contact aturbiv1@swarthmore.edu if they think this may be appropriate for their department.

Positive COVID-19 Tests

Employees should typically expect results within two to three days of taking the test (excluding Sundays).  Results can be viewed using an online portal, for which instructions will be provided. In the event an employee tests positive for COVID-19 through the on-campus testing process, Everlywell will notify the employee via the employee’s Everlywell account, as well as the Environmental Health and Safety Office or an appropriate designee. Everlywell will provide information regarding positive tests to the Chester County Health Department. The employee must then contact their primary health care provider; inform their supervisor or department chair/program coordinator for purposes of scheduling and coverage; and notify Terri Maguire, human resources manager, at tmaguir1@swarthmore.edu. (Note: 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.)

Employees who test positive for COVID-19 must follow the “Returning to Work on Campus after Testing Positive for COVID-19” protocols detailed below. The College may require additional documentation prior to their return to campus.

If an employee who has been on campus is tested through another means outside of the College’s procedures (e.g., their health care provider) and has been notified that they have tested positive for COVID-19, they must immediately inform their supervisor and the office of Human Resources that they are ill and will be out of work. (Note: 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.) 

Note that the College will also disinfect all impacted areas based on established cleaning protocols.  

Contact Tracing

To facilitate the College’s contact tracing in accordance with guidelines from public health officials, any exposures in the workplace will require investigation by the Environmental Health and Safety Office and designated contact tracing staff members from Athletics, Public Safety, and Environmental Health & Safety. These staff members will reach out to the employee in order to identify others on campus who could potentially be close contacts. Contact tracing conducted by the College is limited to the interactions between College faculty, staff, and students; it does not include off-campus interactions. Individuals in the College community who may have been exposed will be contacted directly and provided instructions regarding testing and appropriate next steps. Additionally, individuals who test positive may be subject to notification and contact tracing by the Chester County Health Department, which is responsible for Delaware County.

Returning to Work on Campus after Testing Positive for COVID-19

Employees who test positive for COVID-19 will not be approved to return to campus until all of the following conditions are met: 

  • It has been at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms or the date of a positive COVID test, whichever comes first.
  • The employee has been free from all symptoms, including fever, for the previous 24 hours.

Employees are not required to take an additional COVID-19 test before returning to work on campus.

Employees must contact their supervisor and Human Resources to receive clearance to return to work on campus. Refer to the College’s COVID-19 Pay Continuity Policy for information on pay during quarantine and isolation. 

Communicating Testing and Positive Results

Swarthmore College will maintain and regularly update a publicly available website that details the number of tests performed and the number of positive cases on campus. The information on this site will be reported in the aggregate; individual student, faculty, and staff identities will not be included. Individuals determined to have been potentially exposed through the contact tracing process will be notified directly. Employee test results will be anonymous during contact tracing and will be kept separate from personnel files.  

Daily Self-Monitoring

All employees working on campus should perform daily self-monitoring prior to reporting to campus. If an employee is experiencing a fever or any related symptoms, they must not report to campus to work or for testing, and they must notify their supervisor. Employees should follow guidance as described on the COVID-19 site, Ongoing Expectations for All Employees for On-Campus Work. Additionally,

Should an employee exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms while on campus, they must immediately notify their supervisor who will contact Public Safety. Public Safety will ensure that the employee receives an Everlywell test kit prior to going home. Employees should then contact their health care provider.

Any employee who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 must not report to work on campus and should contact their health care provider. They must notify their supervisor they will be out of work, though they can work remotely if their job allows for remote work and they feel well enough to work.  (Note: you are not required or expected to share with your supervisor your specific diagnosis.). If the employee has been to campus in the past 14 days, they must also notify Terri Maguire, human resources manager, at tmaguir1@swarthmore.edu. Human Resources will notify the employee that:

  • a test kit will be mailed directly to them; or 
  • the employee may take a test from another source, and any out-of-pocket cost of that test will be reimbursed by the College.

Mailed Testing Kits

These test procedures are for faculty and staff members who are coming to campus less than once per week, for non-employee guests coming to campus (with approval, as detailed on this page), and for those with extraordinary circumstances, such as work hours outside the times available for on-campus testing with appropriate approval. As a reminder for those coming to campus less than once per week, we require a negative test within seven days prior to arriving on campus

To request a COVID-19 kit, please complete this request formPlease note: Due to U.S. Food and Drug Administration restrictions, individuals living in Maryland, New Jersey, New York, or Rhode Island cannot take the Everlywell test at home. Individuals in these states who do not regularly come to campus should email CETT@swarthmore.edu for alternative options.

You may request up to four test kits at a time each month. Please order only the number of tests that you anticipate using for the fall semester, as testing technology is evolving quickly, and the College may move to other options as they become available. Also, the College pays upfront for the test kits, so we don’t want any tests to go unused. For employees who anticipate coming to campus but are not yet scheduled to do so, we recommend you order one test as a precautionary measure. 

After completing the request form, please allow for up to five business days for the test kits to arrive at your home; we will ship using UPS or FedEx. Note that if you require a test in the next two weeks, please make an appointment for an on-campus test.  

Key Definitions: 

Daily Self-Monitoring — employees should monitor their health before coming to work on campus. If the staff member’s temperature is 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, or if they have any COVID-19 symptoms, as described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they are not permitted to access College facilities and should contact their medical professional before returning to work in-person. The employee must also inform their supervisor and Human Resources. For further information see Returning to Work on Campus

Test Group — Identified employees coming onto campus at least once per week will become part of the Swarthmore Employee Test group. This group will be monitored for compliance with the testing policy. Without proper authorization from Human Resources, employees unable to meet the requirements for testing will be  subject to restriction from campus and/or disciplinary action.  

CETT— Members of the COVID Employee Test Team (CETT) have been assigned by their College President’s Staff member to monitor the Everlywell COVID-19 tests under the guidance of the Health Center.  These team members come from Environmental Health & Safety, Human Resources, Public Safety, Athletics, and Finance & Administration; they have received training on the Everlywell test and contact tracing. These team members are not healthcare workers and are not providing any medical care. Tests are entirely self-administered and no team member will administer any tests on another individual. 

Everlywell, Inc. — This is the private testing company that Swarthmore has contracted with to provide student and employee test kits. The kits require that employees set up an account and register the kits in order to receive the results directly from the company. 

Contact Tracing — Contact tracing as defined by the CDC is a process used by health departments to help prevent the spread of infectious disease. In general, contact tracing involves identifying people who have an infectious disease (cases) and people whom they came in contact with (contacts) and working with them to mitigate disease spread by recommending quarantine and other actions as appropriate.