General Testing Information for Students, Faculty, and Staff
Testing for COVID-19 can reveal an individual’s health status at a point in time. Though no mitigation is guaranteed to stop the spread of the virus, testing is a vital component of Morehouse College’s mitigation plan. Moreover, testing is a service which helps individuals know if they have the virus, prompting them seek proper information and treatment. Testing is not 100% accurate and just because someone receives a negative result does not necessarily mean that they are not carrying the virus. Nonetheless, testing is one of the most effective ways to identify infected persons and prevent spread (especially in concert with other mitigation measures such as hand washing, mask-wearing, and social distancing).
Anyone who routinely accesses Morehouse or another Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUCC) campus or facility must be tested according to frequency intervals established by campus community health officials. Further, Morehouse students, faculty, and staff must be tested prior to arriving on a campus for the Spring 2021 Semester.
Testing is required whether or not someone has previously tested positive for COVID-19 and will be performed routinely to ensure community health and reduction of COVID-19 spread. The frequency of surveillance testing will be determined according to a number of factors including but not limited to regional infection rates, positivity rates among the community in question, and other circumstantial considerations including events, activities or occasions that may be prompt a spike in positive cases.
The test most commonly endorsed and utilized by Morehouse School of Medicine for AUCC faculty, staff, and students is a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. PCR tests detect the COVID-19 virus by searching for the presence of its basic genetic material, its RNA, inside a person. The RNA will only be present if a person is currently infected. The PCR test differs from an antibody test. An antibody test can be used to determine if a person has had the virus in the past by looking in a person’s bloodstream for a specific antibody produced by the body’s immune system to defend against the virus.
Testing Information for Students
- All students must produce a negative result from a test administered 72 hours before arriving on campus. Those who test positive will not be admitted to residential facilities or allowed to attend in-person classes during Spring 2021 Semester until an isolation period has concluded and they produce a negative test according to their institution’s policies for COVID-19 mitigation.
- More information on how to access testing or send your results will be forthcoming.
- Students will be expected to self-monitor for indications of COVID-19 through a symptom tracker and will be subject to temperature checks while on campus.
Testing Information for Employees
All Morehouse employees must receive a negative test result before reporting to work on campus for the spring semester. Employees may obtain their own valid test at their own expense or participate in AUCC-wide COVID-19 testing.
- Morehouse School of Medicine will collaborate with AUCC institutions to set up unmonitored, self-administered COVID-19 test sites at the respective campuses.
Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUCC) -provided COVID-19 Tests
Coordinated through AUCC and Morehouse School of Medicine, community testing will be made available at no cost to all students, faculty and staff members once the Spring 2021 Semester begins. MSM and the AUCC, in turn have partnered with well-respected laboratories and public health companies to process tests and provide results in a timely manner.
COVID-19 Tests Not Administered through an AUCC Institution
Numerous opportunities for testing are available, and it is acceptable for students, faculty, and staff to obtain a test elsewhere in lieu of the test provided by the AUCC. Testing by another entity, however, must meet the following conditions to be accepted:
- Testing cannot have been administered prior to two weeks before arrival on campus;
- Results of the test must be obtained prior to arrival on campus;
- The test most commonly endorsed by Morehouse School of Medicine is a PCR test (explained above), as opposed to an antibody or saliva test; and
- Testing results must be submitted to the appropriate institutional department.