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IMPORTANT UPDATE: New Masking and Testing Requirements

Dear Students, Parents, and Family Members,

In light of the continued surge of COVID-19 cases in our region and across much of the country and the globe, we are modifying some of our masking and testing requirements as we start the academic year. Please note the following changes:

Masking Policy Update

In response to the rapid spread of the Delta variant, the College reinstituted an indoor masking policy on campus. Initially, we excluded all students living in campus housing while they were inside a residence hall from this requirement. Effective immediately and until further notice, we are now requiring all students to wear masks inside, including in public common areas inside residence halls. You may remove your mask inside a residence hall if you are a residential student inside your own room. We consider spaces shared by roommates, such as the living rooms in PPR Apartments, a private space, and students living together are not required to wear masks in such spaces.

We hope and believe that this will be a temporary measure and that, once transmission rates decline, we will be in a position to ease some of our masking requirements.

Arrival Testing Requirements

We are now requiring COVID-19 testing for all students, regardless of vaccination status, upon their arrival on campus. After arrival testing, fully vaccinated students will only need to be tested if they develop symptoms of COVID-19 or are identified as a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

Partially vaccinated or unvaccinated students must continue weekly COVID-19 testing as outlined in the Fall 2021 Student Testing Program.

Test Registration

Arrival tests will be managed by our testing partner, GENETWORx. All students must have an account on their scheduling platform called Aura. Many students who were on campus in spring 2021 already have an Aura account set up. For those who do not, you can create an Aura account by going to this registration page. Once you are registered, you may log in and schedule your appointment for testing. If you are having any Aura account difficulties, please contact our GENETWORx Site Manager Josh Zegel at jzegel@genetworx.com.

Please note that GENETWORx testing is not approved for students younger than age 18. Students who are younger than 18 should contact me directly at canders4@swarthmore.edu to make alternative testing arrangements.

Testing Location and Times

All testing will take place in Bond Hall. Students should come to Bond during the time indicated below to take a test. Appointments are recommended and can be scheduled on the Aura app or website (see account registration above). 

If you arrive on campus after the testing window that day, you must take a test on the following day. If you are scheduled to move in earlier than the testing window, you are still able to move into your room. You must follow all masking protocols and complete your test during the window below. 

  • All enrolled students who have returned as of Sunday, Aug. 22 and who haven’t yet completed a COVID-19 test on arrival
    • Test: Monday, Aug. 23 from 10 a.m. — 3 p.m. 
  • Incoming first-year and transfer students who return on or after Monday, Aug. 23
    • Test: Tuesday, Aug. 24 from 8 a.m. — 1 p.m. 
  • All other returning students and all enrolled students living off-campus
    • Test: Friday, Aug. 27 from 4-8 p.m.
    • Test: Saturday, Aug. 28 from 4-8 p.m.
    • Test: Sunday, Aug. 29 from 4-8 p.m.

Test Results

If you test positive, someone from the Worth Health Center staff will contact you directly to initiate your required isolation arrangement and to complete contact tracing. If you do not hear from the Worth Health Center staff, your test result was negative.

Ongoing Testing Requirements

As of now, fully vaccinated students will only be required to test on arrival or if they develop symptoms of COVID-19. Please note that the College may update testing protocols at any time, depending on how the circumstances around COVID-19 evolve. We will do so in consultation with our own and external public health and medical experts.

Students who are not yet fully vaccinated are still required to test on arrival, then weekly, as detailed in the Fall 2021 Student Testing Program.

We know that circumstances are changing quickly, and we appreciate your continued flexibility as we work to do all that we can to keep our campus community members and those around us safe. If you have any questions about this update, please contact me directly at canders4@swarthmore.edu.

Thank you, 
Casey Anderson
Director, Student Health & Wellness Services