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Student Update on COVID-19 Testing, Booster, and Isolation Plans

Dear Students,

I hope this message finds you feeling rested as you enjoy winter break. I am writing to follow up on the message that President Smith shared with the community earlier today. To echo President Smith, as a community, we have a continued responsibility to adhere to various mitigation measures in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 on our campus, and there are important COVID-19 updates that you need to be aware of. 

Student Testing Plan

All Swarthmore students are required to participate in the student testing program. Students will complete testing twice a week using QuickVue at-home COVID-19 test kits. A video demonstration of how to complete this type of over-the-counter rapid test can be viewed here. Details of the testing plan including where to pick up your test kits and when to complete them is outlined below: 

Student group 

Test kit pickup

When to take a test

Emergency winter break housing and early return students currently on campus or arriving between now and 1/13

Pick up test kits at the College Post Office during normal operating hours with your OneCard beginning 1/10.  

1/10, 1/13, 1/17, 1/20, 1/24, 1/27, 1/31, 2/3 * 

Student-athletes currently on campus and those arriving between now and 1/17 

Pick up test kits from your coach after making arrangements with them. 

1/10, 1/13, 1/17, 1/20, 1/24, 1/27, 1/31, 2/3 * 

Students arriving on or after 1/15 

Your test kits will be in your dorm room upon arrival. 

The day you arrive on campus, 1/17, 1/20, 1/24, 1/27, 1/31, 2/3 

Students who live off campus

Pick up test kits at the College Post Office during normal operating hours with your OneCard beginning 1/10.

1/17, 1/20, 1/24, 1/27, 1/31, 2/3

*If you are arriving after one of the required test dates, you do NOT have to complete a test until the first Monday or Thursday after you arrive.

If at any time prior to arrival or while on campus you test positive for COVID-19, you are required to contact the Student Health Center staff. Between now and Jan. 18, students should email to report a positive result and for further instructions. Beginning Jan. 18, the Student Health Center office will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET and can be reached at 610-328-8058. The nurse on call will be available after hours and on the weekends throughout the spring semester. 

An email with instructions on where to collect test kits following the week of Jan. 31 will be sent later this month. The College will continually assess the landscape of COVID-19 in our community and determine how the student testing plan will continue.

Mandatory COVID-19 Booster Vaccine

The College is requiring that all students, faculty, and staff members receive a COVID-19 booster vaccine by either Jan. 31 or, if you’re not yet eligible by Jan. 31, within 30 days of becoming eligible for the booster. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has detailed information on when you are eligible to get your booster. If you have already received an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination approved by the College, you will continue to be exempt from this requirement and do not need to supply additional documentation. 

Experts highly recommend obtaining the booster as soon as you are eligible; however, for those who cannot obtain a booster, the College is partnering with Rite Aid Pharmacy to provide Moderna COVID-19 booster clinics on campus on the following dates: Jan 21, Feb. 23, March 23, and April TBD. More details about the COVID-19 booster clinics will be announced soon. 

Once you receive your COVID-19 booster, please upload your documentation to your student health portal, which can be accessed through MySwarthmore. You must upload a photo of your booster card under “COVID-19 booster” and also enter the date you obtained the booster.

Updates to COVID-19 Isolation and Close-Contact Management
We are in the process of updating our isolation-housing protocols to be consistent with the updated CDC guidelines. We will share those details as soon as they’re finalized. Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to move to isolation housing and will receive more information from the staff at the Student Health Center. Close-contact notification will be completed via secure messaging through the student health portal. Students will not be notified via phone; however, they will receive a secure message with instructions on how to proceed as a close contact.

If you have any questions, please contact me at

Warm regards, 

Casey Anderson, CRNP
Director, Student Health and Wellness