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. We have partnered 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.

  • Pre-arrival and arrival testing. For the spring 2022 semester, all students and employees must take both an at-home PCR test and an on-campus rapid antigen test upon arrival on campus as the semester begins. In most cases, negative results from both tests must be received before an individual can move about campus.
  • Routine weekly rapid antigen testing. During the semester, all students and employees must take a rapid antigen test routinely once each week. You will be notified of routine weekly testing results only 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.
  • Random PCR testing. Some students and employees will be chosen randomly each week to take a PCR test. You will be notified whether you are positive or negative within approximately 48 hours. These random PCR tests help our epidemiologists determine if infection levels are increasing.
  • Additional testing for exempted unvaccinated students and employees. Unvaccinated students and employees must take a rapid antigen test twice every week.
  • Periodic universal PCR testing. All students and employees must take a PCR test at specified times during the semester.
Pre-Arrival and Arrival Testing

Morehouse has implemented a two-test regimen consisting of an at-home saliva PCR test and a rapid antigen test administered on campus. Non-essential faculty, staff, and students must follow the regimen and receive two negative tests before they can return and move about campus. Essential employees who are required to report to work on January 3 or 4 must take the rapid antigen test upon arrival before they can move around campus, and then order, take, and return the at-home test by January 10.

Weekly Testing

Once on-campus operations resume, employees and students must participate in weekly testing. Each employee and student must routinely take a rapid antigen test each week unless selected randomly to take a PCR test. Weekly tests will be administered on campus. Students will be notified of the days they are to test based on their cohort and residential house. Employees will be notified of the days they are to test based on their division or department.

Additional Testing for Exempted Unvaccinated Students and Employees

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 plus 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.
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 specified number of 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 specified number of days. Upon returning to campus employees must provide proof of a negative PCR test.
  • Students and employees who continue to test positive after completing 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

Frequently Asked Questions

How are faculty, staff, and students being tested as they return to campus for the spring 2022 semester?
  • As you know, the Omicron variant has spread across the nation. It is important that we don’t bring members of our community back to campus if they have COVID because it could spread to others. To help manage that risk, we have implemented a two-test regimen consisting of an at-home saliva PCR test and a rapid antigen test administered on campus. Non-essential faculty, staff, and students must follow the regimen and receive two negative tests before they can return and move about campus. Essential employees who are required to report to work on January 3 or 4 must take the rapid antigen test upon arrival before they can move around campus, and then order, take, and return the at-home test by January 10.
    • Non-Essential Employees
      • Before you come to campus, you’ll need to take a saliva-based PCR test at home. Morehouse will provide the test and then you will need to return it through FedEx five days before you arrive. You’ll be notified of your results and must test negative in order to return to campus.
      • In addition to the at-home test, you must take a rapid antigen test when you arrive on campus for the first time during the spring semester. The test will be administered in your car or as you walk up. You must again test negative before you are permitted to move about campus or occupy a workspace.
    • Essential Employees
      • If you are an essential employee required to work in person on January 3 or 4, you must take a rapid antigen test when you arrive on campus for the first time during the spring semester. The test will be administered in your car or as you walk up. You must test negative before you are permitted to move about campus or occupy a workspace.
      • Before January 10, you’ll need to take a saliva-based PCR test at home. Morehouse will provide the test and then you will need to return it through FedEx by January 10. You will need a negative test result in order to continue working on campus. If you test positive, you will follow isolation protocols.
    • Students
      • Before you come to campus, you’ll need to take a saliva-based PCR test at home. Morehouse will provide the test and then you will need to return it through FedEx exactly five days before you arrive. You’ll be notified of your results and must test negative in order to return to campus. Residential students should take the test five days before their move-in date; commuter students should take the test on January 26, five days before the first day of in-person classes.
      • In addition to the at-home test, you must take a rapid antigen test when you arrive on campus for the first time during the spring semester. The test will be administered in your car or as you walk up. You must again test negative before you are permitted to move about campus, attend classes, or move into a residence house.
How do I get an at-home saliva-based PCR test (Test 1 of 2) before arrival for the spring 2022 semester?
  1. You can order a free saliva-based PCR test to take at home now by clicking on a link that will be shared shortly through email. Five days before you return, take the test by following the instructions to submit a saliva sample. It is important that you do not take this test until five days before you are scheduled to return to campus so that we know your COVID status as close to when you will arrive back on campus as possible. You must use the Morehouse-provided test.
  2. On the same day that you take the test, place your sample in the return package and then return it by placing the return package in any FedEx dropbox or by using the instructions provided to call FedEx and arrange for them to pick it up from you on the day you take the test.
  3. You will be notified your test results are ready. Note that this is not a rapid test and you will not receive your results immediately. You must have a negative test result in order to come back to campus.
How do I get the on-campus rapid antigen test (Test 2 of 2) upon arrival for the spring 2022 semester?
  • Morehouse will administer rapid COVID antigen tests to employees and students as they arrive on campus in cars or through a walk-up service. Each employee and student must arrive at the Wellborn Street entrance (off West End Avenue between the Massey Leadership Building and B.T. Harvey Stadium) to receive a test before entering campus. Employees and students must have negative test results before they are permitted to move around campus.

    Students arriving in cars should have no more than two people in the car, including themselves, and note that only the student(s) in the car will be tested.

    Employees and students cannot proceed to their work, living, or learning spaces until the test has been administered and a negative result has been received. Test results will be available approximately 15 minutes after the test is administered.

    Unless you are an essential employee, you must have already received a negative result from your at-home PCR test in order to receive the on-campus rapid antigen test.
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.

    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. You will 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.
Where do I get tested weekly once I return to campus?
  • Morehouse faculty, staff, and students must get tested on campus.
When do I get tested each week once I return to campus?
  • Students and employees have been assigned a specific day to take their mandatory weekly test based on their cohort, residential house, division, or department.
How will Morehouse know if I take a weekly test?
  • Test-taking will be tracked by your “M” number.
What do I need to bring with me when I take the weekly test?
  • You just need to bring your Morehouse identification card.
What is the difference between the two types of COVID 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.
Once I return to campus, how will I know if I need to take a random 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.
Do I have to pay for the test?
  • No, you do not have to pay or use your insurance. Morehouse will absorb all costs.
  • Students: Contact the Office of Student Services at (470) 639-0519 or
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?

Email michael.turner@morehouse.edu.

Employees should contact the Office of Human Resources at (470) 639-0357 or email miniratu.dura@morehouse.edu.