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In-session Testing

(Last updated Sept. 11, 2020)

The University is following a rigorous testing protocol during the semester. Like the pre-arrival and arrival testing, this protocol is informed by the imperative of individuals having accurate information to protect themselves and by the fact that asymptomatic individuals with COVID-19 can transmit it to others.

Public-health experts have advised us that, in tandem with good health and prevention practices (e.g., masks and social distancing), using a regular testing protocol is among the best ways to mitigate spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Regular testing also allows the University to build upon the baseline of safety that the pre-arrival and arrival testing provide, to act swiftly to identify individuals who test positive and should be quarantined and receive medical treatment, and to mitigate the spread of the virus (including through contact tracing).

This in-session testing protocol includes the following steps:

  • Upon arrival, all students will be required to be tested once every three days. Depending on the kind of results we are seeing, and what the larger context is, we may adjust to a lower frequency later in the semester, but have no plans to do so automatically.
  • Throughout the semester, faculty and staff will be tested once per week.
  • Students who test positive or have symptoms after arriving on campus will be asked to return home if they live within driving distance of Clark and to isolate at home. Students who are unable to return home will isolate at designated locations the University is establishing on campus.
  • Employees who test positive or display symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home. Those who test positive will not be allowed to come to campus until cleared to do so by the Department of Public Health.
  • The Healthy Clark website includes additional information about the protocol the University will follow for positive tests for students and employees, including for contact tracing.
  • Should the situation warrant, such as if the number of positive tests grows, we will revert to testing all students and student-facing employees two-times-per-week protocol.

Response to Noncompliance

(Last updated August 24, 2020)

It is the shared responsibility of students, faculty, and staff to strictly adhere to Clark’s COVID-19 testing protocols, which are the cornerstone to maintaining a safe and healthy Clark campus this semester. Students who will be on campus are required to be tested every three days. Faculty and staff who will be on campus are required to be tested every seven days.

Faculty and staff who will be on campus infrequently — less than weekly — must come to campus to be tested 48 hours in advance of their business visit. Once they have received a negative result — typically within 48 hours — they can visit campus to conduct their business.

Violations of these protocols will be dealt with swiftly and decisively to mitigate the risk to our community. Clark’s responses to testing noncompliance are detailed below.

 

If you are required to be tested every three days and you miss getting a test within your required window, or

If you are required to be tested once every 7 days and you miss getting a test within your required window. This applies to those who will have a regular in-person presence on campus — at least weekly — during the semester.

 

Students:

You will receive a noncompliance notice to report to the testing center in the next 24 hours before going anywhere else on campus. Otherwise, you will risk:

  • Notification of your course professors about your testing status
  • Disenrollment and being barred from campus
  • Forfeiture of fees and tuition

Faculty:

You will receive a notice to report to the testing center in the next 24 hours or risk the notification of your Department Chair and the Dean of the Faculty and being barred from campus other than to report to the test center at the Kneller Athletic Center.

Staff:

You will receive a notice to report to the testing center in the next 24 hours or risk the notification of your supervisor and being barred from campus other than to report to the test center at the Kneller Athletic Center.

 

If, after missing your required test date, you miss the first 24-hour window to get tested and get back in compliance:

Students:

You will receive a second notice to report to the testing center in the next 24 hours or you will be automatically disenrolled and barred from campus other than to report to the testing center at the Kneller. Fees and tuition will be forfeited, and emergency contacts may be notified. Your course professors will be notified of noncompliance.

Follow-up will include locating you and making an appointment to meet at the testing center. If you are tested at that time, re-enrollment may be considered

Faculty:

  • You will receive a second notice to report to the testing center in the next 24 hours or you will be barred from campus other than to report to the test center at the Kneller Athletic Center.
  • Your department chair and the provost will be notified.

Staff:

  • You will receive a second notice to report to the testing center in the next 24 hours or you will be barred from campus other than to report to the testing center at the Kneller Athletic Center.
  • Your supervisor will be notified.

Follow-up will include locating you to determine the circumstances surrounding the missed window and make an appointment to meet at the testing center.

 

If you miss a second 24-hour testing window:

Students:

You will automatically be disenrolled and barred from campus other than to report to the testing center at the Kneller Athletic Center, and you will forfeit fees and tuition. Emergency contacts may be notified.

Faculty:

You will be barred from campus other than to report to the testing center at the Kneller Athletic Center, and you may be put on unpaid leave for the remainder of the semester if you continue to come to campus.

Staff:

You will be barred from campus other than to report to the testing center at the Kneller Athletic Center, and you will be subject to progressive disciplinary action up to and including unpaid leave or termination if you continue to come to campus.

 

Multiple instances of noncompliance:

Students:

If you have repeat offenses of the testing protocols, Clark reserves the right to skip the first 24-hour “grace” period and proceed more quickly to more severe action.

Faculty:

If you have repeat offenses of the testing protocols, Clark reserves the right to skip the first 24-hour “grace” period and proceed more quickly to actions that may include being barred from campus and unpaid leave. No disciplinary action will supersede the dictates in the Faculty Handbook.

Staff:

If you have repeat offenses of the testing protocols, Clark reserves the right to skip the first 24-hour “grace” period and proceed more quickly to progressive disciplinary action that may include being barred from campus, unpaid leave, or termination.

 

Management of Positive Test Results

(Last updated July 14, 2020)

If Clark becomes aware of a positive test, immediate notification is made to the University Director of Clark Health Services. The University will follow Department of Public Health (DPH) and CDC guidelines for assessing close contacts who may require quarantine.

Students

(Last updated July 14, 2020)

  • Students who test positive will be required to comply with COVID-19 contact tracing  protocols.
  • Students who share a room with a student who tests positive will quarantine until cleared by DPH and medical services.
  • Protocols will be followed that guide providing food to affected students and the cleaning of isolation and quarantine spaces.
  • To the extent possible, students will receive support to continue their academic coursework online while in quarantine or isolation.
  • The University will meet the accommodation needs of those with mobility restrictions who require quarantine or isolation housing.
  • Residential spaces associated with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case will be sanitized the same day.

Employees

(Last updated July 14, 2020)

  • Employees should notify Human Resources as to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis and follow guidelines for contact tracing.
  • Employees identified as having been in close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 will be directed to self-quarantine at home until cleared to return to campus.
  • Work spaces for an employee with suspected infection will undergo same-day sanitization.

Testing Plans

(Last updated July 14, 2020)

  • Contact tracing:Contact tracing will identify individuals who meet “close contact” criteria that would trigger quarantine requirements. According to the CDC, “[A] close contact is defined as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.”

The details of this process are still under development, including the best ways to address privacy concerns, but per Clark policy:

  • Participation in contact tracing is mandatory for all those testing positive for COVID-19 while at Clark University.
  • Contact tracing will be managed and overseen by the Worcester Department of Public Health.
  • Self-checks: Clark is determining the method for conducting daily self-checks. Whatever the ultimate approach used, the following will apply:
    • All faculty, staff, and students will be expected to be familiar with the symptoms  of COVID-19 infection.
    • All employees will be directed to complete a daily self-check for any symptoms of COVID-19. They will not be allowed to work on campus if they display any of these  symptoms.
    • All students will complete a daily symptom self-check.
    • Students exhibiting symptoms will be expected to promptly call Clark Health Services at 1-508-793-7467. Faculty and staff experiencing symptoms will be expected to promptly call their health care provider and inform Clark Health Services via phone.