Q: What is the current guidance about testing?
A: According to guidance from the Virginia Department of Health and VCU Health science and medical experts, testing is recommended for individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Students and employees experiencing symptoms must report their symptoms to the Call Center at 804-MY-COVID (804-692-6843).
Q: Will VCU test symptomatic individuals? What will it cost?
A: Testing for those within the VCU community who are experiencing symptoms (both on-campus and off-campus) will be conducted by VCU Medical Center at accessible locations at no direct cost to students or employees. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, call 804-MY-COVID or 804-692-6843 to be connected with Student Health Services or Employee Health Services. Students and employees must be referred for testing by Student Health Services or Employee Health Services.
Q: What is entry testing?
A: Entry testing refers to testing students prior to their return to campus.
Q: Who must participate in entry testing?
A: Entry testing is required for residential students who are exempt from vaccination.
Q: How are residential students tested prior to their return to campus?
A: They are mailed personal testing kits prior to their return to campus. The kit contains instructions for how to conduct personal testing and mail samples to a lab for analysis. Students are also given instructions for how to receive test results.
Q: What kind of tests are mailed to students for entry testing?
A: In the fall, testing kits contained an oropharyngeal swab test that students self-administered. Prior to spring semester move-in, VCU will again require entry testing for residential students. The university is evaluating options for test kits and lab partners for spring entry testing, however kits will likely contain nasal swab PCR tests, designed to be self-administered and collect samples from the nasal walls of the nostril. These are not the more invasive nasopharyngeal swab test which collects samples from deep within the nasal cavity. PCR tests are the most reliable COVID-19 tests and are the same type of test used for VCU's asymptomatic surveillance, at-will and exit testing.
Q: What do students do between taking the test and coming to campus?
A: Between taking the test and returning to campus, students should minimize contact with others as much as possible. When contact with others takes place, students must practice safe behaviors and follow all the established public safety measures including wearing a face covering, practicing physical distancing, and hand washing.
Q: What should students do if they test positive for COVID-19?
A: Students who test positive for COVID-19, whether through entry testing or otherwise, must not come to campus and must contact Student Health Services by calling 804-MYCOVID or 804-692-6843.