Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,
You have read or heard me say several times that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, we will take additional measures that we believe are in the best interest of the health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff members. We’ve demonstrated our willingness to adapt several times, including when we mandated COVID-19 vaccines for all students and employees, and more recently when we moved back to requiring masks indoors for all community members, regardless of vaccination status. I am writing today to share with you that we are adding an additional safety measure by moving back to regular COVID-19 testing for all employees working on campus, regardless of vaccination status. We announced similar changes to student testing protocols last week.
Effective Monday, Sept. 13, we will begin regular testing of all employees who are working on campus, regardless of vaccination status, with half of you testing one week, and the other half the next. We will continue to alternate weeks until further notice. Fully vaccinated employees have the option to test once a week, should they wish to do so. Please note that the small number of employees who are not fully vaccinated will continue to be required to conduct weekly COVID-19 tests.
We will continue to use self-administered tests from Everlywell. If you haven’t previously participated in testing at the College, or you need a refresher on how to take the tests, please visit our Faculty and Staff COVID-19 Testing Information page; you’ll find detailed instructions there, as well as an instructional video on how to perform a test. All tests are self-administered, and Upper Tarble in Clothier Hall will serve as a central testing location where you can pick up and drop off your test; staff members will be on hand at Upper Tarble Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to help answer your questions. Please see below for information on other locations where employees can pick up and drop off test kits.
Important note: This new testing protocol is required of all employees who are working on campus for any period of time, regardless of whether you plan to interact with others.
When to Test
If your last name begins with a letter from A to L, you must perform a test on any day between Monday and Thursday of the following weeks:
If your last name begins with a letter from M to Z, you must perform a test on any day between Monday and Thursday of the following weeks:
We will reevaluate the situation in mid-October to determine whether regular testing needs to continue. Should circumstances dictate a change sooner than that, either to increase testing or to scale back, we will let you know.
Where to Get a Test Kit
You will be able to pick up two test kits at a time. You must have your OneCard to pick up a COVID-19 test kit.
The campus Post Office — During normal operating hours. We encourage you to pick up test kits in the morning between 8:30 and 11 a.m. or in the afternoon between 2 and 3:45 p.m. to avoid the Post Office’s busiest times.
Upper Tarble in Clothier Hall — Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
101 S. Chester Road, Finance and Administration Suite — Monday through Thursday from 8:30 to 11 a.m.
Public Safety, located at Benjamin West House. This location should only be used after hours and if you are unable to pick up a kit at a location listed above.
Employees who work in Athletics, Dining Services, Environmental Services, Facilities, and Public Safety will be able to pick up a test kit at a local testing area near their offices, as they did last spring. Your supervisor will provide more information.
Returning Your Completed Test-Kit
You may perform the test on site, or you may take it with you to perform at a later time. You do not need to complete the test on the same day you pick it up. However, once you perform a self-administered test, you must return it the same day at one of the following locations:
Upper Tarble by 2 p.m.
Your designated decentralized testing location by 2 p.m.
The campus Post Office by 3:45 p.m.
The campus UPS bin (by Parrish Hall) by 6:45 p.m.
You will receive your test results directly from Everlywell. Results are typically available within 48 hours after Everlywell receives a completed test kit, though times may vary. The College receives test results as well. If you test positive, a contact tracer will contact you directly. Please refer to our Faculty & Staff Contact Tracing, Quarantine, and Isolation page for more information on what to do in the event of a positive test.
We will resume reporting results on our COVID-19 Testing Results page.
If you have any questions specifically about testing protocols, please contact our COVID-19 Employee Test Team at CETT@swarthmore.edu.
We hope that this increase in testing is a short-term measure that will provide greater insights into the impact of COVID-19 on our community. Once transmission rates fall in our area, and assuming the transmission of COVID-19 on campus remains low, we will reevaluate this requirement.
I continue to be inspired by our community’s resolve and flexibility, and I appreciate all that you do to keep each other and yourselves healthy and safe.