COVID-19 Updates

[Faculty & Staff] Revised Testing Guidelines as of Today, Jan. 25

Publication Date

Jan. 27 Update

"contact" is defined as being within 6 feet of a person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period

Dear Colleagues,

When we developed our COVID-19 testing protocols last year, we were still learning about COVID-19, and our access to testing supplies was uncertain. We have learned a lot since we began testing and we know a lot more about the transmission of COVID-19 and safety precautions we can take to stop the spread. As a result, effective immediately we are revising our testing guidelines, as described herein.

Based on these new guidelines, if you think your current testing frequency needs to be modified, speak with your supervisor. For instance, if you come into contact with students or employees on a regular basis and you are currently being tested monthly, you should speak with your supervisor about changing your testing schedule so that you are tested weekly. Employees need the approval of their supervisor prior to making any change to their testing schedule. Supervisors should notify Jennifer Blessing of these changes at blessinj@union.edu and copy their Senior Staff member so that we can accurately track compliance with testing schedules.

  1. Weekly Testing - Employees who work on campus daily, or who frequently come to campus and have the potential to come into contact with students and/or other employees (e.g., dining, campus safety, professors teaching an in-person class or otherwise working in-person with students and/or colleagues, admissions, student health employees, facilities, etc.), will continue to be tested weekly to minimize the risk that these individuals could expose others on campus to COVID-19 if they are infectious.

    These employees will be tested twice weekly through February 4. The Testing Center will be open Monday - Thursday next week. Individuals should try to test Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday to ensure we balance out testing throughout the week. Schedule your appointments.

  2. Periodic Testing - Employees who come to campus on a periodic basis or who are returning to campus after a period of time and have the potential to come into contact with others while on campus must have a negative test result within one week before their first scheduled day on campus. It is preferential that you plan your test as close to but no less than 48 hours prior to when you plan to be on campus. You should use the testing center on campus for your test and plan for a 48-hour turnaround time for test results. Sign up for your test.

  3. Other - Employees who either do not come to campus or who come infrequently and do not typically come into contact with other employees or students will no longer be required to be tested on a regular (monthly) basis. These employees will still be required to report on the emocha app that they are symptom-free and have not been in contact with someone with COVID, before they come to campus - even briefly. As are all employees, these individuals will be required to follow all campus health and safety guidelines, including masking and social distancing.

  4. Voluntary Testing - Union will provide testing to asymptomatic employees who desire to be tested because they are concerned about exposure to individuals with COVID-19. We are also exploring resources to support drive-up testing for symptomatic employees in the near future.

If you have questions about the revised guidelines, please email us at COVID19@union.edu.

In wellness,

Beth R. Glassman
Interim Chief Human Resources Officer

Strom Thacker
Dean of Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs