COVID-19 Testing for Fall 2020
Brandeis University is committed to ensuring the highest levels of health and safety measures to keep our community safe and to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This includes providing high frequency testing for SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Because the majority of COVID-19 transmissions occur from people who don't know they are infected, symptom checks are insufficient to detect infections. Warning people that they are infected as early as possible reduces opportunities for transmission and keeps our community safe, in combination with other measures to reduce spread (masks and physical distancing).
Brandeis University has engaged the Clinical Research Sequencing Platform (CRSP) at the Broad Institute to provide fast, free, painless high-frequency testing of asymptomatic community members who come to campus.
Beginning the week of August 10, all Brandeis community members who come to campus will be required to submit samples for testing at the following frequency:
|Visits to Campus||Testing Frequency|
|Residential or 3+ visits per week||2 times per week (every 3-4 days)|
|1-2 visits per week||1 time per week|
|Less than once per week||Every visit|
Scheduling a Test
Brandeis community members who reside on campus or commute to campus should sign up for tests as indicated above. Testing will be conducted at various locations across campus. Your test location will be noted in the scheduling portal and may be selected when you schedule your test via the COVID-19 Scheduling Portal.
Upon logging in the first time, you will be asked to give consent to be a part of the testing process.
Community members who do not consent to be tested will not be allowed to come to campus.
You will receive reminder notifications about your scheduled date and time. Upon completion of a test, you will be prompted to schedule your next test based upon your selected campus visit frequency. You can always change this based upon your actual visits to campus. Completion of the Daily Health Assessment will help determine your suggested testing schedule. Tests should be completed every 3 to 4 days (twice a week) for residential community members or those commuting to campus 3 times a week or more.
Rescheduling or Canceling a Test
If you are unable to make your scheduled testing time, log back into the COVID-19 Scheduling Portal to reschedule or cancel your scheduled test. If you are unable to make your scheduled testing time, but can drop by during another time during the day, the testing sites are able to accommodate walk-ins. Do not miss a test date just because you are running late for your scheduled time.
If you miss a test that you were scheduled to take, you will receive a notification to reschedule the test for the following day. If more than one test is missed during a week, the Dean of Students (for all students) or Human Resources (for staff and faculty) will be notified. Participation in this high-frequency testing program is a crucial part of our campus health and safety operations. It is a privilege to live and/or work on campus, and with this privilege comes the responsibility of excellent health citizenship. Failure to comply with testing requirements will result in loss of on-campus privileges and may also result in disciplinary action.
What to Expect
All testing participants must arrive at the testing site wearing their mask or face covering. Upon arrival, participants will check in and receive a bar-coded sample tube. They will be directed outside to a designated testing area to self-collect the sample in the lower nasal openings (anterior nares) under the guidance of trained observers/medical personnel. Participants will then submit their sample at the collection table. Physical distancing will be maintained throughout the collection procedure. We anticipate this will take a maximum of 5 minutes to complete.
You may view step-by-step pictorial instructions (pdf) for sample collection to familiarize yourself with the procedure.
Collected samples will be delivered to the Broad Institute, where they will be tested for the presence of COVID-19.
If Your Test Result is Negative
Within 24-72 hours after sample collection, you will receive an email from CareEvolve (the test ordering/results portal used by the Broad Institute) instructing you that your negative test result is available. The first time you receive this email, you will be instructed to set up an account with CareEvolve. Please note your username and password, as logging into this portal is how you will be able to access your test results all semester long.
If your test is negative, it is very unlikely that you have the virus at this time. You will need to continue to practice physical distancing, wearing a mask, frequent handwashing, and following any applicable federal, state or local orders related to COVID-19.
If You Test Positive for COVID-19
The thought of testing positive to COVID-19 can feel daunting. Brandeis is committed to providing support to all of our community members who are faced with a positive result.
Brandeis is required by law to report a positive result to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. A medical provider will call you to provide more information and instructions and to ask about your close contacts. You will be required to remain in isolation for up to 14 days if you test positive, or, if you become ill, until 72 hours after your symptoms resolve.
Your test results will be stored in a secure location and are only accessible by authorized personnel.
Daily Health Assessment
Regardless of your testing schedule and how recently you took a test, faculty, staff and students arriving or living on campus will have to fill out a Daily Health Assessment. If you have a known exposure to or are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, or if you were instructed to stay home by the Daily Health Assessment, you must consult the Health Center (if you are a student) or your medical provider. In these cases, stay home, even if you have been scheduled for the test. This testing program is NOT intended as a primary diagnostic measure, nor is it intended for symptomatic participants.