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Undergraduate Student COVID-19 Testing, Positive Case and Contact Tracing

Posted by on Thursday, June 11, 2020 in .

TESTING

ALL STUDENTS NOW

Students who are on campus now who have symptoms related to COVID-19 or determine that they need to be tested based on potential exposure are encouraged to contact Student Health (615-322-2427). Individuals who need emergency care should contact 911 for ambulance transport to the nearest Emergency Department.

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT FUTURE

Vanderbilt University is establishing its COVID-19 safety model by leveraging collaboration and partnership with the world-class Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt University School of Nursing to support and protect the Vanderbilt University community as much as possible.

As a core component of our preventive measures, we will have requirements for COVID-19 testing, as well as rigorous contact tracing and symptom management that are in alignment with recommendations from the CDC and the ACHA. We are partnering closely with the experts at VUMC and our School of Nursing to deploy their best practices in these areas.

PRIOR TO CAMPUS ARRIVAL

To identify asymptomatic, currently infected students before they arrive on campus, all undergraduate students will be required to complete pre-arrival testing within 14 days before coming to campus for the first time. Students can obtain the COVID-19 PCR test wherever they wish (local medical provider, local public health department, local mass testing station, etc.).

If a student cannot obtain a COVID-19 PCR test, direct guidance and support will be provided by Vanderbilt University, the Student Health Center and the Student Care Network.

If a student tests positive, that student should remain in self-isolation at home. If student tested positive for COVID-19 and had symptoms, clearance to come to campus is assigned when: 1) the individual remains fever-free without the use of fever reducers for 72 hours, 2) respiratory symptoms have improved, and 3) it has been at least 10 days since their symptoms first appeared. If student tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms, the individual can be cleared to return 10 days after the test as long as the individual does not develop symptoms. If the individual develops symptoms, then the individual must follow the recovery strategy for those with symptoms.

Details on pre-arrival testing (where and when to submit, types of tests, etc.) will be shared by July 15.

UPON ARRIVAL

Members of the School of Nursing Nurse Faculty Practice Division, in conjunction with Student Health and VUMC, will perform symptom screens and nasal swab tests for all arriving undergraduate students. More details to be provided by July 15.

Vanderbilt is employing the best practice, gold standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing method as recommended by VUMC experts and will continue to evaluate all testing options and methods moving forward recognizing options are continually evolving. 

WHILE ON CAMPUS

Students who have symptoms related to COVID-19 should contact Student Health (615-322-2427). Individuals who need emergency care should contact 911 for ambulance transport to the nearest Emergency Department. Students who determine they need to be tested based on potential exposure but do not have any symptoms will receive testing.

VU will set up a testing center in partnership with VUMC and the School of Nursing that will offer testing to asymptomatic individuals who meet testing criteria developed in partnership with VUMC infectious disease experts.  These capabilities will be in place before students return to campus.  The criteria for asymptomatic testing will be reviewed and revised as conditions on campus and in the community change.

More details regarding that testing will be provided by July 15.

TESTING DETAILS

Vanderbilt is currently evaluating manufacturers for best-in-class options for large-scale asymptomatic testing and will be partnering with VUMC for testing of any student exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.

Vanderbilt is currently evaluating testing labs for best-in-class turnaround time for large-scale asymptomatic testing and will be partnering with VUMC for testing of any student exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 for the most rapid turnaround time possible. The time frame for results depends on a large number of factors including current volume being processed by a testing lab at any given time so is difficult to predict.

POSITIVE CASE AND CONTACT TRACING

ALL STUDENTS NOW

Students who test positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate as directed by the dean of students until they have recovered. To help determine the risk of potential exposure to others on campus, Student Health or Public Health officials will conduct contact tracing with the individual who has tested positive. Exposed individuals will be given the name of the individual who tested positive so that their risk can be assessed.

Vanderbilt is following the CDC’s recommended recovery strategy. If an individual had symptoms, recovery status is assigned when: 1) the individual remains fever-free without the use of fever reducers for 72 hours, 2) respiratory symptoms have improved, and 3) it has been at least 10 days since their symptoms first appeared. If an individual tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms, the individual can be cleared to return 10 days after the test as long as the individual does not develop symptoms. If the individual develops symptoms, then the individual must follow the recovery strategy for those with symptoms. Notification for return to on-campus activities is directed through Student Health.

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT FUTURE

To help determine the risk of potential exposure to others on campus, the School of Nursing Nurse Faculty Practice Division in partnership with Student Health will conduct contact tracing with any student who has tested positive. Vanderbilt will have robust in-house contact tracing capabilities developed as a collaboration with experts at VUMC, VUSN and Metro Public Health to coordinate timely contact tracing between campus and the Nashville community.  More details to be provided by July 15.

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