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Important COVID-19 Information for Residential Students

Dear Spring 2021 Residential Students,

As we prepare to return for the spring semester, it is important to reiterate the historic public health event we are living through. With cases of COVID-19 surging across the country, I find myself somber and cautiously optimistic for the semester ahead. 

In Fall 2020, the College succeeded in bringing a cohort of students to campus, providing an excellent education in a relatively new medium, and having a low level of infection on campus. As a result, we learned a lot about our resiliency and dedication to education and health.

We also learned that students’ dedication to prioritizing the health of our community and sticking to the Garnet Pledge are absolutely essential to our efforts. We know it is not easy to always wear masks, maintain physical distance, avoid crowded public spaces and gatherings, and attend classes remotely. This spring semester, the College has implemented additional programs to help everyone in the community stay healthy. I cannot emphasize enough how important your role and decision to adhere to these protocols are to the safety of the community. 

Daily Symptoms Tracker

This spring, you will be required to complete a Daily Symptoms Tracker every day by 1 p.m. Starting Jan. 22, 2021, we ask that you begin quarantining at home and complete the Symptoms Tracker everyday before your arrival. This two-question tool, developed through our partners at Medicat, will be accessible through your student health portal found on the Swarthmore dashboard. Responses to the questions in the Symptoms Tracker will help let us know if we should follow up with you as appropriate. 

Completion of the Symptoms Tracker and related forms is required, and failure to answer the questions every day will result in disciplinary action. You may find it helpful to set a reminder alarm on your phone or to incorporate it in your daily routine, such as when you wake up. More details about the steps you must take prior to arrival.

Testing Protocols

Prior to coming to campus (if you haven’t already done so, please make sure to select a day and time to move-in), we do not require but strongly recommend that you obtain a COVID-19 test. Not only will this help to prevent spreading infection to our campus, it will also allow you to make the decision to isolate at home rather than on campus should you test positive upon arrival. 

Once on campus, you will be required to participate in our on-campus testing program. We have separated this program into two phases. Phase 1 is arrival testing. Every student living on campus will be tested a minimum of three times during the first 14 days on campus. You will receive your first test on the day you move in, another test approximately one week later, and a final arrival test at approximately 14 days after arrival. All testing will take place indoors at Tarble Pavilion until the weather allows for outdoor testing

Below is the current arrival testing schedule; look for your move-in date, on the left, to see when your arrival tests will be scheduled. Please note dates are subject to change.

Arrival Testing Schedule
Location: Tarble Pavilion

MOVE-IN DATE

ARRIVAL TEST #1

(Move-in Day)

ARRIVAL TEST #2 *

(~1 week after move-in)

Thurs., Feb. 4

Thurs.,Feb. 4, 2021

10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Fri., Feb. 12, 2021

9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 6, 2021

Sat., Feb. 6, 2021

10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Fri., Feb. 12, 2021

9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 7, 2021

Sun., Feb. 7, 2021

10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Mon., Feb. 15, 2021

9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Mon., Feb. 8, 2021

Mon., Feb. 8, 2021

9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Mon., Feb., 15, 2021

9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Tues., Feb. 9, 2021

Tues., Feb. 9, 2021

9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Tues., Feb. 16, 2021

9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

* The date and time of arrival test #3, approximately 2 weeks after move-in, are forthcoming.

Phase 2 is weekly testing, which will continue through the whole semester. Specific details of Phase 2 testing will be determined after review of our phase 1 results and in consultation with our infectious disease specialist. 

You will receive regular email updates and plans for testing throughout the semester. Please make sure to read all of these messages. Failure to complete your testing as planned will result in disciplinary action and could lead to revocation of your residency on campus. 

Positive COVID-19 Test

In order to best support you and the College’s testing program, we need to know if you have tested positive for COVID-19 at any point up to now. If you have, please submit documentation from your medical provider to me at mreilly1@swarthmore.edu. Depending on when you were infected, you may not need to participate in the on-campus testing program.

COVID-19 Vaccine

We are working with county officials to determine if the College will be able to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to students and other campus community members. If you have the ability prior to your arrival to receive the vaccine through other avenues, please take advantage of that opportunity. 

In addition, please complete this survey by January 29 so that we may collect preliminary information to better inform our vaccine distribution plans. Please note: your answers to this survey are not binding. This survey is strictly being used to calculate an accurate estimate of the number of COVID-19 vaccines the College will need to provide to our community.

I understand this is a lot of information, so please let me know if you have any questions. More details will be distributed via email over the next couple of weeks. Please check your Swat email regularly for the most current information and remember: your continued adherence to these protocols are truly what will increase safety on campus, lower your risk of infection, and increase our ability to remain operational during the spring semester. 

On behalf of the staff at the Student Health and Wellness Center, we wish you good health and safe travels.

Regards,

Mary Reilly MSN, CRNP
Assistant Director of Student Health and Wellness Services