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Student Affairs Comms E-Newsletter [Vanderbilt University]

August 18, 2020

Dear Campus Residents,

We look forward to your return to campus for the fall semester. This message includes additional details on mandatory arrival testing, the next step of our Return to Campus COVID-19 screening protocols, and reminders about our current gathering guidelines. Your participation in adhering to guidelines for campus safety are critical to our success. Please read this email in its entirety; you will be held accountable for abiding by the enclosed guidelines.

Arrival Testing

In addition to the pre-arrival test that was required, as a part of our health and safety guidelines for returning to campus, undergraduate students must also take an arrival COVID-19 test if participating in classes on campus.  The purpose of this arrival test is to identify any students who may have contracted COVID in between the time of taking their pre-arrival test and arriving on campus so that we can ensure their health and wellbeing, as well as that of our community.

We have partnered with Vault, a leading national provider of at-home saliva test kits to provide COVID-19 test kits. This saliva PCR test is the first FDA EUA-authorized solution of its kind and is currently a testing solution for many national companies, as well as sports leagues such as the National Hockey League, the PGA Tour, and Major League Soccer.

Undergraduate students living on-campus will find a test kit in their room when they move in. This is a saliva test that you will administer yourself with guided supervision using Zoom telehealth per the instructions with the kit. Follow the instructions carefully.

How to take the test:

  • Please follow the blue instructional card from Vault first and visit covid.vlt.co to register your kit.  If you already have a Vault account from pre-arrival testing, click login.
  • You will then be asked a series of questions including where you are taking your test, confirming details regarding the test, and whether you have symptoms.
  • You will then be asked to confirm that you have an unopened kit in front of you and have not eaten, drank, smoked or chewed gum in the last 30 minutes.
  • You will then be asked to enter the ID number for your kit. This number is located on the test tube in your kit.
  • From there, you will be directed to a telehealth visit. Please take the test via Zoom on the day you obtain your test kit in order to drop your kit off by 4 p.m. CT the same day.  If you obtain your kit later in the afternoon, please take your kit the next day.
  • Zoom meetings are available beginning at 7:00am and no appointments are required. Failure to do the supervised collection will result in your test being invalidated. You must partake in the supervised collection via Zoom in order to confirm that you are completing the test and not someone else.
  • The telehealth provider may ask that you place your kit in a UPS envelope.  Please tell the telehealth provider that Vanderbilt is collecting kits centrally and you will take to the appropriate drop off location.  There is a chance that they will put you on hold to confirm on their end this is correct. Vanderbilt is working with Vault to ensure all telehealth providers know we are collecting centrally.  Please just confirm with the provider you are a Vanderbilt student and do not have a UPS bag as we are collecting them centrally.
  • Proceed with your telehealth visit following instructions from the provider.
  • Once complete, drop off the package at a campus collection box by 4 p.m. CT the day you take the test. Drop off locations are on the Vanderbilt instructions included with your test kit.

Important reminders:

  • You should have a government ID such as a driver’s license or passport, a student ID or some other form of identification ready for the Zoom session. Expired ID is also acceptable due to government closures during the pandemic. If no ID is available, Vault has a selfie procedure you can use.
  • Do not open the test packaging until you are ready to do the saliva collection. This will invalidate your sample.
  • Reminder: you should not eat, drink, chew or smoke anything for at least 30 minutes before giving the sample.
  • If you visited a telehealth room during off hours and then are having trouble getting back in when open, please use the following link to go straight to a telehealth room: https://app.vaulthealth.com/waiting-room?k=false
  • Anyone who tests positive from the arrival test kit must complete their isolation period until they are medically cleared to return to normal campus activities. Student Health and/or the Public Health Central Command Center will follow-up regarding the process to return to normal campus activities. If you are still in isolation on the first day of class, you will need to start your classes online.

If you have any questions, please reach out to the Fall 2020 helpline at 615-322-4357 or email undergraduatearrivaltesting@vanderbilt.edu.

Student Accountability: Your Actions On and Off Campus

It is the responsibility of each community member to fully commit to protecting the Vanderbilt community’s collective health and well-being and play their individual part in ensuring a successful fall semester.

Students are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the Student Handbook and all University policies and protocols designed to facilitate physical distancing and reduce the spread of COVID-19, which may supersede certain provisions of the Student Handbook at this time.

Of particular note is the Gatherings section of the Vanderbilt Return to Campus protocols. It is imperative that students review these protocols to ensure they are in compliance at all times. Some key points in the Gatherings policy include:

  • While students may engage in small, informal groups of 10 individuals or less, parties, social events, and similar group activities, including those involving alcohol, whether on- or off-campus, are not permitted and pose a significant public health risk.
  • If students choose to participate in a small, informal meet-up of 10 individuals or less, compliance with VU’s COVID-19 protocols is required, including physical distancing and other personal safety practices, as well as adhering to any other applicable University policies.
  • Any intentional or reckless disregard for the COVID-19 policies and protocols on- or off-campus will be addressed through the Office of Student Accountability, Community Standards, and Academic Integrity, utilizing the existing sanctioning considerations found in the Student Handbook, including reviewing the potential impact on the community in the evaluation of the nature and severity of the incident, which may support an enhanced sanction, including probations, suspension, or expulsion.

Students should also take note of Nashville’s guidelines surrounding gatherings. Failure to comply with the city’s public health emergency orders can result in criminal penalties. 

If you notice COVID-19 protocols are not being followed, report it by calling the Public Health Hotline at 615-343-1352.

We can each do our part to ensure the safety of all our community members. Together, we can Anchor Down and Step Up.

Office of the Dean of Students

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