Growing vaccination rates and limited on-campus spread of COVID-19 are allowing the University of Nebraska–Lincoln to return to a random mitigation testing strategy.
The new protocol, which begins Nov. 14 and is supported by Lincoln-Lancaster County health officials, will test weekly a random selection of students, faculty and staff who are not participating in the university’s voluntary vaccine registry. Those same Huskers are currently required to undergo weekly saliva-based testing for COVID-19.
On Thursdays (starting Nov. 11), Huskers selected for the random testing will receive an email notifying them to schedule a test on campus between Sunday and Wednesday of the following week (Nov. 14-17 for the first week of the protocol). The Safer Community app will also show (in the “Next Steps” section) when those selected individuals need to test.
Students, faculty and staff who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or who opt to get the vaccine can avoid being selected for the random mitigation testing by voluntarily submitting their status here. To date, nearly 80% of students, faculty and staff have received the vaccine and reported it via the voluntary registry.
Testing exemptions — including for anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days — are available.
Huskers selected are required to complete the saliva-based testing to avoid receiving a “Building Access Denied” status through the Safer Community app. A negative test result is required to reinstate building access.
Starting Nov. 14, the university’s saliva-based testing program will be offered at the Nebraska Union and Nebraska East Union, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8 to 11 a.m. Fridays; and by East Memorial Stadium (drive-up testing) from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays, and 2 to 5 p.m. Sundays. All other testing locations will be closed.
The university will offer limited testing during holiday breaks in November and December. Those hours are:
• Nov. 24 — 8 to 11 a.m., Nebraska Union and Nebraska East Union; and 6 to 11 a.m., East Memorial Stadium;
• Nov. 25-27 — All testing closed;
• Nov. 28 — Normal schedule resumes;
• Dec. 23 — 8 to 11 a.m., Nebraska Union and Nebraska East Union; and
• Dec. 24 to Jan. 1 — All testing closed.
To limit potential spread of the virus, members of the campus community are encouraged to get tested prior to travel for the holiday breaks in November and December. Details regarding testing protocols for the start of the spring semester will be announced.
A complete schedule of testing availability is offered here. The Safer Community app also shows availability in the upcoming six-day window. Appointments can be made via the app or the university’s online testing portal.
If there is a concentration of cases on campus or within the community, the university may return to a broader testing strategy. In that event, details will be announced.
Learn more about the university’s ongoing response to the global pandemic.
More details at: https://news.unl.edu/newsrooms/today/article/university-to-return-to-random-mitigation-testing-for-covid-19/