COVID-19

COVID Testing Requirements for All Morehouse College Students and Employees

Overview

COVID testing is an important component of the tiered protocols we have implemented to limit the spread of the virus on our campus. Beginning on Monday, September 13, we will partner with other Atlanta University Center Consortium member institutions to execute a science-based testing regimen that involves every student and employee every week. 

Testing Requirements for Every Student and Employee

While no test is perfect, our primary goals are to identify people who are currently infected and to determine if infection levels are increasing on campus so that we can make the most effective public health decisions. Updates to our protocols follow:

  • All students and employees must take a rapid antigen test once each
  • Some students and employees will be chosen randomly each week to take a PCR
  • Unvaccinated students and employees must take a rapid antigen test twice every week.
  • All students and employees must take a PCR test during the weeks beginning October 4 and November 29.
Location and Times

All testing will take place on the lower level of the parking garage adjacent to the Welcome Center from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tests are walk-up tests, not drive-through tests. Students and employees have been assigned a specific day to take their mandatory weekly rapid antigen test. It is your individual responsibility to come to the parking garage and take the appropriate test on the appropriate day. You need to bring your identification card with you, as you will be identified by your “M” number.

  • Rapid antigen tests are available on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday only.
  • PCR tests are available on Tuesday only.
  • Do not come to the testing center if you are experiencing COVID symptoms. Students should go to the Student Health Center and employees should contact their health provider or the Center for Health and Rehabilitation (265 Boulevard NE, Atlanta, GA 30312 | Phone: (404) 665-8600).
Notification
  • If you take an antigen test, you will only be notified if you test positive. Students with a positive result will be contacted by the Office of Student Services and employees will be contacted by the Office of Human Resources.
  • If you take a PCR test, you will be notified whether you are positive or negative within approximately 48 hours.

General COVID Testing Protocols

Testing Schedule

Go to the lower level of the parking lot on the designated day to receive your required test.

DayStudents to be Tested By Cohort/Residential HouseEmployees to be Tested by Division/Department
Mondays (Only antigen tests will be administered)
  • Brazeal House
  • Commuter Students
  • Otis Moss Suites - East
  • Robert House
  • Academic Affairs
  • Alumni Relations
  • Administrative Services
Tuesdays (Only PCR will be administered) Anyone needing a PCR test Anyone needing a PCR test
Wednesdays (Only antigen tests will be administered)
  • Graves House
  • Kilgore Commons
  • Perdue House
  • Academic Affairs
  • Marketing, Communications, and Admissions
  • Institutional Advancement
Thursdays (Only antigen tests will be administered)
  • Commuter Students
  • Hubert House
  • Otis Moss Suites - West
  • Mays House
  • Academic Affairs
  • President's Office
  • Title III
Fridays (Only antigen tests will be administered)
  • Dubois House
  • Living and Learning Center
  • White House
  • Student Services
  • Business and Finance
Antigen tests every week for every student and every employee to help identify people who have the virus.*
  • All students and employees must take a rapid antigen test each week.
  • Students will take tests on a day designated based on the residential house in which they live.
  • Employees will take tests on a day designated based on division.
  • *Vaccinated students and employees who are selected for the random PCR test do not have to take a rapid antigen test during that same week.

Antigen tests indicate whether you have a current COVID infection by looking for antigens, which are proteins on the surface of the virus. They can be administered quickly and relatively easily, but are not quite as reliable as PCR tests. Antigen tests are not antibody tests. Antibodies are proteins that fight the virus, while antigens are components of the virus itself. If you have had the virus, you may have antibodies, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you are currently infected.

 PCR tests for random students and employees every Tuesday to help determine if infection levels are increasing. 

Some students and employees will be chosen randomly each week to take a PCR test. A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test detects the COVID-19 virus by searching for the presence of RNA, the virus’s basic genetic material, inside a person. They are generally more reliable than antigen tests but take longer to process.

Unvaccinated students and employees must be tested twice every week.
  • Two antigen tests: If you are unvaccinated and are not selected for a random PCR test, you must take two antigen tests that week. Choose a day to take a second antigen test in addition to the day on which you were originally assigned.
  • An antigen + a PCR test: If you are unvaccinated and selected for a random PCR test, you need to choose a day that week to take an antigen test in addition to your PCR test.
PCR tests for every student and employee during the following weeks:
    • Week beginning Monday, October 4
    • Week beginning Monday, November 29 
If You Test Positive 

If you test positive, alert anyone you have come into close contact with recently and follow our isolation protocols regardless of vaccination status:

  • Residential students will relocate to a temporary housing assignment for a minimum of 10 days while commuter students will remain isolated at home. Students must provide proof of a negative rapid test prior to release from isolation.
  • Employees are required to stay away from campus for a minimum of 10 days. Upon returning to campus employees must provide proof of a negative PCR test.
  • Students and employees who continue to test positive after completing at least 10 days of isolation must be evaluated by a medical professional. Before returning to campus, students and employees must 1) provide a note from a medical professional stating the student or employee can return to campus and 2) receive approval from the institution.
  • Contact tracers will contact students and employees and begin alerting others they have come into close contact with.

FAQs

I am fully vaccinated and showing no symptoms. Do I need to be tested every week?
  • Fully vaccinated students and employees must be tested once every week. Even though the chances of your contracting and passing the virus along are much lower if you are fully vaccinated, it is still possible. People who are fully vaccinated and contract the virus often do not notice any symptoms, which can lead them to unknowingly pass it on. Weekly testing will make sure that you know if you have the virus and help us understand how many on campus have the virus— information we will use to make public health decisions.
I am not vaccinated but have received an exception. Do I need to be tested every week?
  • Unvaccinated students and employees must be tested twice a week. If you are not vaccinated, you are much more likely to contract the virus and pass it to others. It is important that you know if you have the virus as soon as possible so that you can seek treatment and avoid passing it to other members of the Morehouse community.
Where do I get tested? 
  • All testing will take place on the lower level of the parking garage adjacent to the Welcome Center from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Tests are walk-up tests, not drive-through tests.
When do I get tested? 
  • Students and employees have been assigned a specific day to take their mandatory weekly test. You can come any time during that day between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

    If you are fully vaccinated, you must take one test each week on your assigned day. If you are not fully vaccinated, you must take a test on your assigned day each week and take an additional test on another day of your choice that same week.
Do I need an appointment?
  • No. You can come to the testing site any time between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on your assigned day to take a test.
How will the College know if I take a test?
  • Test-taking will be tracked by your “M” number.
What do I need to bring with me when I take the test?
  • You just need to bring your Morehouse identification card.
What kind of test do I have to take? 
  • The main test that everyone will take each week is an antigen test. However, each week, some students and employees will be randomly selected to take a PCR test, which is a bit more reliable.

    If you are vaccinated, you must take an antigen test each week unless you are randomly selected to take the PCR test, which will then replace the antigen test as the one test you must take that week.

    If you are unvaccinated, you must take two antigen tests each week, unless you are randomly selected to take the PCR test. If you are randomly selected to take the PCR test that week, you will need to also take only one antigen test that week instead of the two weekly antigen tests you must normally take.

    In addition, every student and employee (regardless of vaccination status), will have to take a PCR test during the following weeks:
    • Week beginning Monday, October 4
    • Week beginning Monday, November 29
What is the difference between the two types of tests?
  • Antigen tests indicate whether you have a current COVID infection by looking for antigens, which are proteins on the surface of the virus. They can be administered quickly and relatively easily, but are not quite as reliable as PCR tests. Antigen tests are not antibody tests. Antibodies are proteins that fight the virus, while antigens are components of the virus itself. If you have had the virus, you may have antibodies, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you are currently infected.

    A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test detects the COVID-19 virus by searching for the presence of RNA, the virus’s basic genetic material, inside a person. They are generally more reliable than antigen tests but take longer to process.
How will I know if I need to take a PCR test? 
  • If you are randomly selected to take a PCR test, you will be notified by email during the week before you need to take the test. Students will be notified by the Office of Student Services and employees will be notified by the Office of Human Resources.
When will I get my results? 
  • If you take an antigen test, you will only be notified if you test positive. Students with a positive result will be contacted by the Office of Student Services and employees will be contacted by the Office of Human Resources. You don’t need to stay and wait for your results after you take the test.
  • If you take a PCR test, you will be notified whether you are positive or negative within approximately 48 hours.
Do I have to pay for the test?
  • No, you do not have to pay or use your insurance. The College will absorb all costs.
What kind of tests will be administered? 
  • The antigen test is a nasopharyngeal rapid test (BINAX rapid test).
  • The PCR test is a nasopharyngeal PCR test.
What if I have a medical issue preventing me from taking the test?
  • If you are medically unable to take a test, students should contact the Office of Student Services and employees should contact the Office of Human Resources.
Who should I contact if I have any questions?