Spring 2021 COVID-19 Screening Program
Dickinson’s COVID-19 Screening Program is designed to reduce the risk of outbreaks on campus and in the Carlisle community by quickly identifying COVID-19 positive individuals on campus who are asymptomatic. The PA Department of Health recommends that all institutions of higher education develop and implement a testing strategy that includes entry screening testing (“testing students at the beginning of each term and when returning to campus after a break”) and regular screening testing over the course of the semester. Our program was designed with these recommendations in mind, as well as recommendations from experts in the field of epidemiology.
We will make changes to this program and update the information on this page as we continue to learn what works best for the Dickinson community (and as circumstances change in Cumberland County).
Please note: All required testing for students, faculty and staff must be completed through Dickinson’s COVID-19 Screening Program. Outside test results will not be accepted as proof of screening.
About the Program
The main purpose of screening testing is to identify asymptomatic individuals who are infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), isolate them from the Dickinson community and initiate contact tracing (in conjunction with the Department of Health) to identify individuals who may have been exposed. Our aim in doing so is to provide support to our community members who may be infected and to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on our campus/in the surrounding community.
What type of test are we using?
Dickinson will utilize a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test supplied by The Broad Institute for all screening tests. Samples will be collected via a self-administered anterior nasal swab observed by healthcare personnel. This collection method is similar to using a nasopharyngeal swab to collect samples from the upper respiratory area but is less invasive and results in less discomfort than a nasopharyngeal swab.
Who are we testing and how often?
All students who live on campus or who have been approved to be a commuting student for the spring 2021 semester will be tested twice per week. Students are also required to complete pre-arrival testing before coming to campus.
In addition, with approval from supervisors, employees who meet the following criteria will be tested weekly throughout the semester:
- Routinely work on campus
- Job requires regular contact with students, children, other employees and/or the public without the continuous use of a physical barrier (e.g., plexiglass)
Where and when will regular testing be conducted?
Screening testing will be conducted in ATS Monday through Friday during the day.
Move-in testing for students will occur at move-in (January 20 - 24; February 5 –7) and again in March over spring break (dates and times TBA).
January Move-in Testing Dates:
- Wednesday, January 20: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Thursday, January 21: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Friday, January 22: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- Sunday, January 24: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Please note that there will be no move-in times on Saturday, January 23.
February Move-in Testing Dates:
- Friday, February 5: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- Saturday, February 6: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Sunday, February 7: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
How do I sign up for testing?
Students and employees will need to register for testing on the LabPass website and sign up for their testing times through Microsoft Bookings. Registration and scheduling instructions can be accessed through the links below.
What happens if I miss my testing appointment?
Students who miss their testing appointment will be contacted by the Dean of Students Office and employees will be contacted by Human Resource Services. Please note that anyone living and/or working on campus is required to consistently attend their regular testing appointments.
Analysis of Test Samples
The Broad Institute will provide test kits and analyze all samples collected through our screening testing program. The Broad Institute is analyzing COVID-19 tests for more than 100 public and private colleges and universities in their state-of-the-art lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Test samples are overnighted from Dickinson and results are returned 24-48 hours from the time they are received by The Broad Institute.
Test results are sent directly to participants. In addition, all test results will be accessible to qualified college personnel through the LabPass website once finalized by the lab.
All those with positive results will receive a call from the Wellness Center (for students) or Human Resources (for employees) with detailed instructions regarding the need for isolation and next steps. Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will be asked to provide information about close contacts within the Dickinson community, so these individuals can be contacted about the need for testing and quarantining, as per CDC recommendations.
Exceptions to Screening Testing
Individuals who are symptomatic:
Any Dickinson community member who is symptomatic will be temporarily removed from our screening testing protocol and asked to complete testing with their healthcare provider. Anyone who is symptomatic should also isolate themselves as directed by their provider. Please see the college’s Exposure Management Plan for details.
Students who are symptomatic should complete COVID-19 testing at the Wellness Center on campus, whereas employees will need to be tested off campus and will need to contact their healthcare provider.
A list of off-campus COVID-19 testing providers can be found here:
Please note that results for tests completed outside of our screening program may take longer than those collected through our screening program.
Individuals with a recent COVID-19 diagnosis:
Per CDC guidance, anyone who has had a documented positive COVID-19 test or diagnosis within 90 days will not participate in screening testing. For persons previously diagnosed with COVID-19 who remain asymptomatic after recovery, retesting is not recommended within three months after the date of their initial symptom onset (or their positive test result if asymptomatic).
Any student who falls into this category should complete this form and will be asked to send documentation of their prior COVID-19 diagnosis to the Wellness Center. Students can request a visit note, lab report or verification form from the healthcare provider or pharmacy that administered their COVID test. This information can be sent to the Wellness Center by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), fax (717-245-1938), or through the mail at:
Dickinson College Wellness Center
PO Box 1773
Carlisle, PA 17013-2896
The documentation also can be uploaded to their Wellness Center Patient Portal at dickinson.medicatconnect.com.
Any employee who falls into this category can report a prior positive COVID-19 test here. They will also be asked to send documentation of their prior COVID-19 diagnosis to Human Resource Services.